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The promise of Sleep Paperback – March 7, 1999


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Paperback, March 7, 1999
$12.91 $3.32

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Dell; 1 edition (March 7, 1999)
  • ASIN: B001I12O5E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,659,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

It is easy to read, very informative, and also entertaining.
Jerry Lilly
By the time you have read this book you will be amazed by how little you knew about something so important as your sleep.
Amazon Customer
This book provides excellent information on the subject of sleep.
Dhanesh Shah

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

134 of 138 people found the following review helpful By David H. Peterzell PhD PhD on July 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
"The Promise of Sleep" is the eminent Dr. Dement's magnum opus for the masses. It contains more information than most of us will ever want to know about sleep. It is a long and intricate book, and it reads like a grant proposal. Most of us will read the sections that apply to us, and will use the book as a reference. I didn't read the whole thing and neither did any of you. So if you plan to read the whole thing... you are dreaming. But I find myself returning to this book repeatedly, for various health-related reasons. Here I discuss the people I think will benefit from this book, and why. Then I discuss what I believe to be Dr. Dement's biases, for better or worse. Finally, I discuss some other books which you might consider in addition to, or instead of, this one.

Here are the people who will benefit from this book, and why.

1) PEOPLE WHO WANT TO TURBO-CHARGE THEIR SLEEP. You want to optimize sleep's restorative powers, and to optimize your mental functioning while awake. I believe that you are unlikely to find a better source of practical information than this book, though of course there are free sources available online. The fourth part of the book (about 125 pages) is devoted to "The Principles of Healthy Sleep." This section includes 6 chapters that include self-assessment procedures, ways to set priorities and seek professional advice, strategies for dealing with specific situations (e.g., driving, flying, difficult work schedules), ways to optimize sleep across the lifespan, ways to manage caffeine, alcohol, other drugs, diet, and exercise to improve the quality of sleep, and more. Personally, I found the tips for dealing with jet lag to be very helpful, and non-intuitive in some instances. And I've reduced my "sleep debt" significantly. And...
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104 of 109 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie on March 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Yes, it's too long; and the lack of an index is frustrating. But Dement presents ideas here that need to be heard, and haven't before. Sleep is not a simple process that can be distilled into a soundbyte - and his scientist's training won't let him devolve this into a mere list of "tips to sleep better". So, it it worth wading through 450 pages? A resounding yes. My own sleep problems were helped the very night I skipped ahead to the sleep hygeine chapter (the closest things to tips in the book). My understanding of jetlag and "prime time" for creative work will help me in the future. My respect for sleep has grown and will change my decisions. My realization of how close I have been to falling asleep at the wheel is terrifyingly clear. I am sending the book to one friend who I am sure suffers from a life threatening sleep lack. And unlike the reader who found Dement's career history self serving, I hear instead a plea for more research on this vitally important subject. Fascinating, readable, likeable, surprising, and worth every minute of your time to read. Although the writer's style is easy and readable, it alone would not rate five stars. But the content is five star plus. Buy it!
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57 of 60 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 12, 1999
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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67 of 75 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
William Dement knows more about sleep research than anyone, and this book should have let us all in on what he knows. It doesn't. I suspect that the problem was the publisher's pushing too hard to make it "readable" and "popular". We are given too many stories about Dement's personal life, often irrelevant to his point (by contrast-- to name a terrific science writer-- Steven Pinker's stories and anecdotes always illustrate a point). Some of Dement's ideas and key points are repeated too often; some of his other ideas need more detailing. We are talked down to. The lack of an index creates incredible inconvenience (there's an interesting comment on caffeine that I'm sure is in there somewhere but I don't know how I'll find it without reading the whole book again). Also, the lack of endnotes is unacceptable in a book of this sort (see Pinker or Jonathan Weiner for examples of how it should be done). Yes, there is a lot of insight; and as I said, the man knows more about the subject than anyone, so you will learn useful things. But I wish he'd try again, and write a book that doesn't underestimate the reader's attention span and ability. It would be much more useful.
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