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The Promise of Sleep: A Pioneer in Sleep Medicine Explores the Vital Connection Between Health, Happiness, and a Good Night's Sleep [Paperback]

William C. Dement
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 22.00
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Book Description

March 7 2000
Sleep better, live longer with the groundbreaking information and step-by-step program in this revolutionary book.

Healthful sleep has been empirically proven to be the single most important factor in predicting longevity, more influential than diet, exercise, or heredity. And yet we are a sleep-sick society, ignorant of the facts of sleep--and the price of sleep deprivation. In this groundbreaking book, based on decades of study on the frontiers of sleep science, Dr. William Dement, founder and director of the Stanford University Sleep Research Center, explains what happens when we sleep, when we don't, and how we can reclaim the most powerful--and underrated--health miracle of all.

Taking us on a fascinating tour of our sleeping body and mind, Dr. Dement reveals the price we have paid for ignoring sleep--an epidemic of heart disease, 33 percent of traffic-fatigue-related accidents, and immeasurable mental and psychological disadvantages. And he offers a hands-on prescription for vibrant good health and longevity, including...self-tests to determine how much sleep you really need...the role of prescription and over-the-counter sleeping aids...the latest research on how sleep affects the immune system...how to combat insomnia, snoring, and jet lag...plus information on sleep disorder clinics nationwide, Web sites, and more.

Taking readers on a fascinating tour of our sleeping body and mind,

Dr. William C. Dement reveals the price paid for ignoring sleep--an epidemic of heart disease, traffic-fatigue-related accidents (responsible for a full third of all traffic accidents), and immeasurable mental and psychological disadvantages. Offering a hands-on prescription for vibrant good health and longevity, THE PROMISE OF SLEEP includes self-tests to determine how much sleep you really need, full information on the role of prescription and over-the-counter sleeping aids, the latest research on how sleep affects the immune system, helpful methods for combating insomnia, snoring, and jet lag, plus information on sleep disorder clinics nationwide, sleep disorder Web sites, and more. -->

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Product Description

From Amazon

"We are a sleep-sick society," says William C. Dement, M.D., Ph.D. According to Dr. Dement, "sleep science" has yielded a great deal of scientific knowledge about sleep--yet the general public, and even doctors, aren't aware of it. Sleep disorders are routinely misdiagnosed or ignored, sometimes resulting in medical tragedy and death, frequently leading to chronic exhaustion. In The Promise of Sleep, Dr. Dement aims to remedy that by making the latest sleep information accessible to health professionals and lay readers. He describes the sleep cycle and gives a short history of sleep research. Then he dives into clear and detailed explanations of concepts and conditions we've all heard about, but that few of us understand: sleep debt, biological clock, circadian rhythm, insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy. He discusses why we need sleep (sounds obvious, but it isn't) and the role of dreams. After 300 pages of sleep facts, Dr. Dement teaches you how to "reclaim healthy sleep" in your own life. You learn to assess your personal sleep situation by keeping a sleep diary, measuring your sleep debt, and evaluating your risk of sleep disorders; find appropriate treatment; manage sleep crises; and adopt a "sleep-smart lifestyle." A three-week "sleep camp" program at the end helps you put all the strategies together. This book will put you to sleep--and that's meant as praise! --Joan Price --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

America is in the midst of an epidemic of sleep disorders, according to Dement, a sleep researcher since 1952, the founder the world's first sleep-disorder clinic and past chairman of a commission that presented a report to Congress in 1992, "Wake Up America! A National Sleep Alert." But for all the general population knows about the principles of healthy sleep, he laments, "I might as well have been running a chain of beauty parlors for the last four decades." However, anyone who even glances through this informative and impassioned volume will know that Dement hasn't spent his time hovering over a hairdryer. The subject may be sleep, but its treatment is not soporific; with the able help of Vaughan, Dement presents the results of his and others' lifework in pithy and accessible terms. Readers will be jolted awake by a multitude of facts (sleep apnea can lead to heart failure or stroke, fatigue caused the Exxon Valdez and space shuttle Challenger disasters and motorist sleepiness accounts for 33% of traffic accidents). Besides scientific data on sleep and much advice on sleep hygiene, there are self-tests for sleepiness as well as a scenario for a restorative "sleep camp." Appendices list sleep-disorder clinics nationwide, definitions of sleep disorders and Web sites. Dement offers an outstanding book on a surprisingly overlooked subject. Author tour.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
I am a Geriactric Nurse Practitioner, Teach graduate courses, read extensively and hated this book. If the author could refrain from "Then I set up the worlds first..." and if the information could be separated from the self-promoting biographical stories, it might be useful. However you are so tired of listening to him blathering that you fall asleep; Perhaps the intention of the book!! Buy a briefer more useful book instead.
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5.0 out of 5 stars There are lessons for everyone July 26 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I picked up this book at the Stanford bookstore because I suspected my daughter and my husband may be suffering from a sleeping disorder. After reading the book, I found out that I may have one too! Dr. Dement destroys many of the myths surrounding sleep including the myth that sleeping pills are bad. I was particularly struck by the dangers of driving drowsy, something I do quite often as a consultant who travels to clients. I now know there are actions that I can take to minimize the risk, including scheduling meeting times more in tune with the low energy points during the day. The book is written in a style that is clear, concise, and easy to read. Though I do not think all his recommendations are necessarily practical, you can pick and choose those that will work for you. I highly recommend this book for everyone, but particularly if someone in your family is having trouble sleeping.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fundamentals of Sleep Dec 29 2002
Format:Paperback
Before I read this book, I slept so poorly that I usually woke up with a headache. Now I'm getting really good sleep.
I don't think I would have done it if it hadn't been for this book, which I read after I first met Dr. Dement at a book signing.
Dement himself coined the term "sleep apnea" and started working for better research into sleep disorders -- kind of as a byproduct of his observations as a doctor.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Good information but a lot of editing needed! Feb. 24 2002
Format:Hardcover
As you read this tome you realize that it being written by somebody with the odd balance of ego and humility that comes with being both a tenured professor and leading expert in a specific field.
To be sure, you'll learn everything there is about sleep that you never knew who to ask. There is a lot of good information that is written in layman's terms. The problem is you're going to have to [rummage]through a lot to read the important information.
The book is 540 pages long and could have been at least 200 pages shorter with better editing. There is way too much information about the author that isn't necessary. I really don't care about his love of Jazz music--unless it's going to help me sleep! He spends a lot of time lambasting the medical community for not knowing enough about sleep--some of it well deserved. One excellent point that Dement makes is regarding the use of sleeping pills. They have been demonized by the medical community when they could do a lot of people good with little actual downside. He recounts a story of one college student who was in desperate need of sleep. He tells about trying to get the school's infirmary to write a prescription for sleeping pills, which they flatly refused. I kept wondering why Dement himself didn't simply write the script?
Also, while sleep disorders make life miserable for a lot of people and lead to a lot of problems (such as Dement's accurate description of the cause of the Exxon Valdez) the whole world isn't about to die from sleep depravation. There's too much "the sky is falling" in the book.
With a good editor this could have been the definitive book on the subject of sleep. As it is you'll just have to skim through it to find the relevant information.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Good info. but a painful read Feb. 14 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I find myself weeding through the book trying to pick out the actual informative content regarding sleep because so much of the content is autobiographical and self-laudatory -- not so much about sleep but about the good doctor himself; and even when he is discussing sleep, he never fails to point out how he and no other discovered this or that. If the doctor simply stuck with the subject at hand -- sleep, I would have given more stars. Rather, I feel as if I am reading the CV of an egomaniac.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Preaches to the Choir Feb. 9 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Clearly passionate about his research, accomplishments and importance, the author repeatedly laments the lack of priority and funding for sleep research. Constant lament number two is the unenlightened perception of the medical community with regard to sleep. Not a very hopeful treatment of the subject. Frustrates the reader to invest so much time, on so many pages, for so little return. Comprehensive list of sleep centers might be very helpful for thoses seeking medical treatment.
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Format:Hardcover
I read this when I was having tremendous trouble getting a good nights sleep. It didn't solve my problem. But it did tell me the things I was doing habitually that weren't helping. And the author arguably has more experience in this area than almost any other would. This is a book that everyone should read, if only so they will know some simple truths, like if it took you a month to get so behind on your sleep, it will take almost as long to recoup it, even if you try. I'm glad I read this book. And it's one of those books I'll probably read one or two more times in my life.
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Format:Paperback
I have been researching the field of sleep for some time, and this is truly the best book yet that I have found on this elusive subject. William Dement and co-author Christopher Vaughan have outdone themselves in not only offering an authoritative and informational guide, but a truly interesting and fascinating account of their many years in this field. The average reader will not be bogged down with formulas and EEG readings, but with common sense and down to earth advice on managing your sleep. William Dement focuses a great deal on the problem of a sleep deprived society, and teaches you a simple, easy to manage way to determine if you are one of the billions who owe a large "sleep-debt", and if you are, how to miraculously (well, almost) "work it off" and become a healthier, happier individual. It was truly amazing to me what a difference the right amount and quality of sleep can make in a person's life, and how relatively simple it is to obtain it. If you feel you have a sleep problem, this is most definitely the book for you. It has wonderful insights into the amazing world of sleep and offers the most solid and focused guidelines to improve your sleep habits that I have ever come across. A definite 5 star winner, a not-to-be-missed book!
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