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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 – Mar 7 2000

4.1 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Dell; 1 edition (March 7 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440509017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440509011
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 3.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #160,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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By A Customer on July 29 2001
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
Dear Amazon readers!
Anyone troubled with sleep difficulties or interested in the science of sleep should definitely read Dr. Dement's book, which has fundamentally changed my understanding of and attitude towards sleep, and as a result, radically improved my health (both mental and physical). I'm a graduate student in the final semester of writing my dissertation, and I have always had terrible sleep problems; things grew so bad this term that I decided I had to learn whatever I could about sleep, and happily, found this book. I read it all the way through and was helped immensely, both by Dement's practical suggestions and by his wonderfully lucid, accessible and thorough presentation of the science of sleep.
If you want to only read one book on the subject, this is the one to choose: Dement is one of the foremost researchers in the subject, and has devoted a long career to the study of sleep. He also has a gift for conveying this information to laypeople, and an an urgent sense of why it's important that it be widely disseminated. He's concerned about the public health effects of sleep deprivation (including automobile and other transportation accidents, as well as many individual health problems). Reading this has made me really prioritize sleep, and encourage my friends and family to do the same.
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