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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)
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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. -->

Frequently Bought Together

The Promise of Sleep: A Pioneer in Sleep Medicine Explores the Vital Connection Between Health, Happiness, and a Good Night's Sleep + Sleep Thieves + Sleeping Through The Night Revised Edition: How Infants, Toddlers, and Their Parents Can Get a Good Night's Sleep
Price For All Three: CDN$ 46.25

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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
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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2.0 out of 5 stars Good information but a lot of editing needed! Feb. 24 2002
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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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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2.0 out of 5 stars Useful but flawed July 29 2001
By A Customer
The topic is important but Dr. Dement gets in the way. Again and again the message is "I am important. My research area is so important. I am really accomplished. I am really smart." Example: Dement claims that the single most important factor in performance is sleep. Oh really? The 49ers are playing Dallas and Joe Montana had a bad night's sleep--that make me a better quarterback?
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.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not much practical advice June 11 2001
Unlike some of the other posters, I didn't find this book particularly new. I'd heard most of it before. I was hoping for some practical advice on sleep, and instead the only "message" was "get more sleep". Very little on how to balance sleep with practical concerns. For example, he says "if you're sleepy when driving, pull over and rest". But as a woman driving alone, I don't feel safe sleeping in my car. No comment on the trade-off between being slightly sleepy and risking danger. He also doesn't really address the realities of schedules that we can't always control (or does he think everyone gets to decide what time to go to work in the morning).
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.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars There are lessons for everyone
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 more
Published on July 26 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Fundamentals of Sleep
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 more
Published on Dec 29 2002 by Deirdre Saoirse
4.0 out of 5 stars Only dummies would find it boring
This is a clear, authoritative, thorough book on the basics of sleep, sleep disorders, and the serious and subtle consequences of sleep deprivation. Read more
Published on Sept. 13 2002
2.0 out of 5 stars Good info. but a painful read
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 more
Published on Feb. 14 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars Preaches to the Choir
Clearly passionate about his research, accomplishments and importance, the author repeatedly laments the lack of priority and funding for sleep research. Read more
Published on Feb. 9 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars If you read just one book on sleep, make it this one ...
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 more
Published on Nov. 2 2001 by G. M. Matthews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Promise of Sleep delivers what it promises
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 more
Published on July 15 2001 by ElProfe
5.0 out of 5 stars Saved y Husband's Life
When I first met my husband he had trouble sleeping,suffered from anxiety, depression and severe hypertension(a blood pressure of 260/160! Read more
Published on July 10 2001 by m. perrelli
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for beginners. Not enough advanced information.
Based on the length of the book and Dr. Dement's billing as a leading researcher, I expected more in-depth information. Read more
Published on May 27 2001 by "lynch09"
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