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Say Good Night to Insomnia: The Six-Week, Drug-Free Program Developed At Harvard Medical School Paperback – November 15, 1999

4.3 out of 5 stars 234 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

First-time authors Jacobs and Wiedman bring two complementary and responsible viewpoints to the topic of insomnia. Both have suffered from insomnia, write extensively about the ineffectiveness and sometime harmful consequences of sleeping pills, and suggest starting treatment by keeping a sleep diary. Jacobs, a professor at Harvard Medical School and founder of the Behavioral Medicine Insomnia Program, promotes a drug-free program of healthy sleep patterns based on biofeedback, relaxation, positive thinking, and good sleep habits. Wiedman, a mortgage broker by trade, suggests a very simple three-step plan. While the two books offer similar information, Jacobs's scholarly manner will satisfy those looking for an authoritative answer, while Wiedman's more informal approach will appeal to readers seeking something more personal; Wiedman also includes an excellent annotated list of Internet resources. Both titles are highly recommended for growing consumer health collections, but librarians should be aware that other recent works on this topic by Theresa DiGeronimo, Jodi Mindell, and Gary Zammit (LJ 6/1/97) may already be on the shelves.?Kelly Hensley, East Tennessee State Univ. Lib., Johnson City
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"The breakthrough program with the scientifically proven power to help you sleep again." --Joan Borysenko, author of Minding the Body, Ming the Mind

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks (November 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805055487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805055481
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (234 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #528,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Gregg D. Jacobs is an Insomnia Specialist at the Sleep Disorders Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and a leading authority on the treatment of insomnia. At Harvard Medical School, Dr. Jacobs developed the first drug-free insomnia program proven more effective than sleeping pills in research funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Visit his website and learn more about his CBT insomnia program at www.cbtforinsomnia.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I bought this book based on a recommendation from a February 22, 2005 article on Slate by Amanda Schaffer. If it wasn't for this recommendation, I'm not sure I would have kept reading after the first chapter. The book is full of exclamation points, oversimplification and glib promises. Very "self help"y.

So why 5 stars? Because I have slept deeply all night every night since I read the book. I was coming off the worst bout of insomnia of my life...several weeks at 3 hours or less per night. I planned to start the first week of the program, a sleep diary, the next night I slept badly. It hasn't happened. For me, just having read the program and realizing the simple changes I could make seems to have done the trick. And if my sleep problems resume, I feel confident that pursuing the six week program faithfully would solve the problem.

The author is condescending, overly perky, and seems to be writing for an IQ level of about 87. But if you have a serious insomnia problem, I recommend you get past the style and try out the substance. I'd read a lot more annoying books if I knew I'd sleep well afterward.
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Format: Paperback
I cannot praise this book enough for what it has done for me. My insomnia affected me so deeply I became depressed and truly believed I was going to die.

I was using a LOT of sleeping pills to little effect and I was afraid that they would lead to more severe problems down the road. So I scoured the internet for another cure and found, "Say Good-night to Insomnia".

I'm extremely skeptical about everything, and when this book said that my it could change my negative thoughts into positive ones and help me sleep better, I didn't believe it. But I had absolutely NOTHING to lose and, out of desperation, I decided to give it a try.

I followed this book religiously (ignoring the ridiculous and useless anecdotes) and my sleep started to improve almost instantly. Before using this book I slept about two hours every night with a couple of nights of absolutely NO sleep what-so-ever thrown in here and there.

After a couple of days of using this book I found falling asleep easier (I'd fall asleep within one and a half to two hours), but I was still waking up several times throughout the night and found it difficult to fall back asleep. And I still had some nights of sleeplessness, but I was extremely excited about the small improvement.

Over the next couple of weeks falling asleep became easier and easier and I'd only have a couple of nights of insomnia during the week. But during the nights when I did get sleep my "wake-ups" became shorter and I found it easier to fall back asleep (usually within 20 to 30 minutes).

During the next month and a half the "wake-ups" themselves started to slowly subside. I'd wake up around five times a night in the beginning, then a few days later only four, and another few days later only three.
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Format: Paperback
I took this book back. A book that spends as much time as this one telling you how good it (and the author) is turns me off. It presents research findings as though they are rumors, with no mention of the source. There's not even an index to look up topics. There are very much better books on this topic. The factually best is by William Dement -- the founder of the field of sleep medicine ("The Promise of Sleep"). A more accessible one is by Hairi & Linde, "No More Sleepless Nights."
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Format: Paperback
This book has been immensely helpful for me and my understanding of why I have always had so much trouble with sleep. Dr. Jacobs sets the record straight on a number of sleep myths but can be repetitive when he is trying to make a point. For example, he drones on for 16 pages about how sleeping pills will do more harm than good. This may be an effort to extend the length of this book.

Instead of providing us with a 200 page verbose browbeating the author would have better served us with a concise text that could have easily been less than 100 pages. And also, when he is trying to prove a point, Dr. Jacobs will cite some vague statistic. When trying to prove the effectiveness of his "Relaxation Response," or "RR" for short, the author says, "Dozens of scientific studies have proven that the RR is an effective treatment for insomnia," and that is it. If he's not going to be specific, why bother mentioning it at all.

As for the "6-week solution" this book provides, it seems to have been added as an afterthought. The 6 week program consists of keeping a sleep diary for 6 weeks. That's it. The point, of course, is to try to find a connection between what you did to help yourself sleep and how much you slept, but don't buy this book looking for a miracle 6 week cure.

In the end I still recommend this book to anyone with sleep trouble. There are some incredibly useful things in this book that make trudging through it worthwhile.
1 Comment 115 of 128 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
This book is wonderful--I finished it in 2 days! It is a very easy-to-read explanation of the physiology of sleep, why we lose it, and how we can get it back. The techniques Dr. Jacobs describes to stop insomnia are easy to follow (although they do take patience and persistence) and really make sense. And, best of all, this program works!!! I suffered from insomnia for over 16 years, and I never thought I would be free of endless days and nights worrying about sleep. To my amazement, the night following the day I started reading the book, I fell asleep within 10 minutes! Unheard of for me! And, I wasn't even employing any of the techniques suggested in the book yet. I whole-heartedly recommend this book to all insomniacs who suffer from constant anxiety about sleeping as I did, and wish you endless nights of restful sleep!
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