The Promise of Sleep: A Pioneer in Sleep Medicine Explores the Vital Connection Between Health, Happiness, and a Good Night's Sleep Paperback – Mar 7 2000
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"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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Dement's Sleep Commission (he got it going and he was in charge, as he will tell you repeatedly) according to Dement "directed Congress to act." The last time I read the Constitution, commissions didn't have the power to direct Congress to make laws. That doesn't sit well with Dement--imagine just making recommendations instead of directing, what an affront. Dement is easily affronted. Is there a large deficit and is it necessary to set priorities--an outrage! Someone wants to spend money on cancer research rather than sleep research--unacceptable!
About 15% of the material covers what you want to know--how to improve your sleep. Since this is an important topic, it is worth putting up with the self-praising material to get to the useful stuff.
From the description, I was hoping for a practical book with solutions and instead I got scientific information about sleep (interesting but nothing new, I'd read it many times before) and anecdotes that said "not sleeping is bad" which I've also heard many times before. I'm still waiting for a book on sleep that comes at it from a more practical perspective.
Most recent customer reviews
I picked up this book at the Stanford bookstore because I suspected my daughter and my husband may be suffering from a sleeping disorder. Read morePublished on July 26 2003
Before I read this book, I slept so poorly that I usually woke up with a headache. Now I'm getting really good sleep. Read morePublished on Dec 29 2002 by Deirdre Saoirse Moen
This is a clear, authoritative, thorough book on the basics of sleep, sleep disorders, and the serious and subtle consequences of sleep deprivation. Read morePublished on Sept. 13 2002
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 --... Read morePublished on Feb. 14 2002
Clearly passionate about his research, accomplishments and importance, the author repeatedly laments the lack of priority and funding for sleep research. Read morePublished on Feb. 9 2002
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. Read morePublished on Nov. 2 2001 by G. M. Matthews
My real rating is 4.9 stars and not 5; the reason is: the book is excellent from many points of view: whether you are interested in the physics or physiology of sleeping, or... Read morePublished on July 15 2001 by ElProfe
When I first met my husband he had trouble sleeping,suffered from anxiety, depression and severe hypertension(a blood pressure of 260/160! Read morePublished on July 10 2001 by m. perrelli
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