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Counting Sheep: The Science and Pleasures of Sleep and Dreams Paperback – October 13, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is a bit difficult for the first third--when it's talking about sleep deprivation, but it's well-worth slogging through. I think this is required reading for everyone.
Summary of the Book:
Counting Sheep is a book all about sleep and its various benefits, problems and history, that definitely did not have me nodding off. Everything comes down to sleep, health, life satisfaction, learning and memory. This book will change your understanding of how you spend one third of your life.
I learned plenty about the life under the covers and in the land of Nod, Paul Martin has put together a great book with one major message to get across to us all, we need more sleep and he has the knowledge and the advice to help.
Paul Martin works hard to get his point across to the reader, but he does a great job. The book is separated into 7 parts with a total of 17 chapters. Each chapter had sub sections, each with their own valid piece of information, each accompanied with a quote that relates to the subject matter. I enjoyed the format of this book, it was broken up nicely and make for comfortable reading, I didn't once find my self confused about what PM was talking about or his overall point.
Counting Sheep is a journey through all the elements of sleep, from how humans and animals actually go to sleep, what happens if we don't get enough (which we don't), dreams and how to control them, sleep disorders, cultural sleep habits and the dangers of sleep deprivation in everyday life.Read more ›
...Why this book is interesting
As a neuroscience student, this book provides a great, scientific foundation of knowledge on all aspects of sleep. As a being who sleeps (as Martin notes, all animals do), this book is easy and enjoyable to digest and will put anyone to sleep (and that is a good thing).
...What this book will tell you, and how
This book takes us through the importance of sleep and the many terrible consequences of not getting the proper amount of sleep. Martin emphasizes how our society now caters to and most values those who spend as little of their days sleeping (and thus more time working or at 24 hour stores). "A century ago the majority toiled long hours while the affluent few idled away their time. Today, however, the more conventionally successful you are, the less free time you will probably have...according to prevailing cultural attitudes, sleeping is one of the lease productive human activities.Read more ›
It has lots of little pieces of information which can be read as independent essays. Here are some claims I found interesting:
"sleepiness is responsible for far more deaths on the roads than alcohol or drugs".
Tired people rate their abilities higher than people who slept well do.
Poor sleep contributes to poor health a good deal more than medical diagnoses suggest, but hospitals are designed in ways that hinder patients' sleep.
Idle time was apparently a status symbol up to a century ago, now being busy is a status symbol. This should have economic implications that someone ought to explore in depth.
People in a vegetative state have REM sleep. This sounds like cause to re-evaluate the label we apply to that state.
While the book has many references, it doesn't connect specific claims to references, and I'm sometimes left wondering why I should believe a claim. How can boredom be a modern concept? When he says "no person has ever gone completely without sleep for more than a few days", how does he know he can dismiss people who claim to have not slept for years?