From School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-This concise overview begins with short descriptions of typical sleep patterns, the stages of sleep, and what happens in the human body during them. A chapter on sleep deprivation follows. The chapter on disorders, such as sleepwalking and sleep apnea, includes preventive measures and treatments. Relaxation techniques such as meditation are described in sufficient detail. The final chapter offers methods of guiding, remembering, and interpreting one's dreams. A short "Dream Encyclopedia" gives suggestions for understanding the symbolism of events and objects common in dreams. "To Find Out More" has a useful list of organizations and authoritative online sites. While easy to comprehend, some statements are oversimplified. For instance, in the description of REM sleep, the text states that eye movements are the eyes watching dream action and sounds "projected, in a way, on your eyelids" by the brain. Although now dated in some aspects, Alvin and Virginia Silverstein's work of the same name (HarperCollins, 1974) is considerably more detailed in describing animal and human sleep research techniques and conclusions, but it does not include guides to dream interpretation.
Ann G. Brouse, Steele Memorial Library, Elmira, NY
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 7-12. Combining facts about the physiology of sleep with information about dreams and their interpretation, veteran health writer McPhee tackles several enormous subjects in one slim volume, with uneven results. Opening chapters clearly explain the cycles of sleep and do a fine job of emphasizing the dangers of sleep deprivation: "the reflexes of a sleep-deprived person are as slow and uncoordinated as those of someone who is legally drunk." The following chapters touch on sleep disorders and then briefly discuss dreams, including tips for remembering and analyzing them. Presented in a lackluster format with a few black-and-white diagrams and photographs, the information is best suited for supporting reports on sleep biology rather than answering readers' individual questions; sections on the treatment of sleep disorders will particularly disappoint readers seeking personal help. But McPhee offers satisfactory curricular support, and teens will have fun with the dream dictionary at book's end. A glossary and helpful resources, including Web sites, conclude. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved