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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: #127,736 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 the Hardcover edition.

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 the Hardcover edition.

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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: Hardcover
I have wanted to learn something about sleep, and particularly about insomnia, for quite awhile. When I came across The Promise of Sleep in my local bookstore, I was a little put off by its size. I expected that getting through it would not be easy. Was I ever wrong! Dr. Dement's book reads like a novel. I couldn't put it down, and I carried it around for several days, reading every chance I got until I was finished.
Dr. Dement says at the outset that his goal is to give people the fundamental knowledge they need to change the way they sleep and live. Having read the book, I can now say that I received an excellent basic education about sleep. What's more, I was taught by the number one man in the field. On top of all that, it was fun and enjoyable.
In addition to solving my own particular difficulty sleeping, I have been able to help a couple of close relatives with their sleep problems. In fact, I am now known as the "guru of sleep" by my family and friends giving advice and recommending the book at the drop of a hat. For example:
Do you feel fatigued and exhausted? This book is for you. This vast majority of fatigue problems arise from disordered sleep.
Do you want to succeed in life? This book is for you. You must manage your sleep and you must know how much sleep you need. And accumulating sleep debt, as Dr. Dement describes with marvelous clarity, can lead to bankruptcy, failure in school, and failure on the job. Not to mention failure in bed.
Do you snore, or more to the point, do you share a bed with someone who snores? This book is for you. Loud snoring is bad news and you must do something about it. Fortunately something can be done.
Are you a parent of young children? This book is for you.
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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: Hardcover
When a friend of mine recommended that I read this book, I was slightly doubtful. I didn't really believe that a book about sleep could be all that interesting. When I did get around to reading The Promise of Sleep, however, I was really pleasantly surprised. Dr. William Dement wrote this book in a manner that neither condescends to the reader, nor confuses him or her with overly technical terms, as one might expect from the world-renowned expert on sleep. It is friendly and amusing with entertaining anecdotes form Dr. Dement's career. In this respect, the book has some autobiographical aspects to it, allowing the reader to take a look into this fascinating man's life and work. One gets the sense that this book is intended for everyone who can read it, not only for people who can't sleep at night. The sleep patterns of people of all ages are discussed: infants, children, adolescents, pregnant women, the middle-aged, and the elderly. Dr. Dement makes it clear that sleep affects every area of our lives, and he does this by providing us with fascinating, but little-known, information. For example, in spite of the fact that 9 out if 10 people are either sleep-deprived or have a sleep disorder, a large number of these cases remain undiagnosed, because most doctors are untrained in this area. And sleepy drivers have a part in about a third of traffic accidents, but few people are aware of this. It makes the reader indignant to find out about this, and the author's anger shows through as well. After all, people are dying from sleep disorders, car accidents, and industrial disasters because the public is ignorant about sleep. The Promise of Sleep serves as a self-help book as well.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Count me in. I agree with all the positive reviews.(four stars or better) and profoundly disagree with the few sour reviews that were obviously written by reviewers badly in need of sleep or Tums for their tummies.
The book is really three in one. It is partially the journal of a pioneer explorer in sleep research, partially an explanation of the role of sleep in human existence and thirdly a work book for practical application of the principles revealed throughout the book
A fourth theme pervades every section of the book and that is Dement's passionate concern for the human condition and advocacy of healthy sleep. The book is a solid win for the good guys.
For those who have trouble with the pronoun "I", as one reader did, think of the language of most explorers. You will find that true explorers audaciously plant their flag and begin their measurements from there. It's heady stuff unavoidably sprinkled with the pronoun "I" even when God's favor is beseeched. Besides, Dement is generous with credit for those who traveled with him on the lonely quest for the Promise Of Sleep.
The Promise OF Sleep is an enjoyable read even for one like me who has followed the saga from the first little squibs in newspapers several deacades ago through the opening of the flood gates of the internet eight years ago and now this book.
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