- Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: Dell; 1 edition (March 7, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0440509017
- ISBN-13: 978-0440509011
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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 1st Edition
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"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 an alternate Paperback 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 an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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... I've used tips to optimize creativity.
2) PEOPLE WHO SUSPECT THAT THEY HAVE A SLEEP DISORDER. You want to diagnose yourself or someone you know. First off, let me assure you that you are right to try to educate yourself in this way. Managed care medicine (which dominates the US) is not exactly geared toward diagnosing and treating sleep disorders, and you are likely to know more about sleep disorders and their consequences than many medical professionals. So go for it. Have the facts ready when you go to battle with clinical professionals who can't or won't do their jobs. I'm not advocating that you diagnose yourself without proper medical assistance. But knowing what to look for, and knowing implications for diagnoses makes plenty of sense. Appendix A lists the menu of sleep disorders. I found this list very helpful relative to sources that I use professionally, as a psychotherapist. Therapists typically use the DSM-IV diagnostic scheme, which is OK but highly limited. Dr. Dement's list is MUCH more comprehensive than the diagnostic schemes that I've seen elsewhere, but his list seems credible because HE is so credible. Additionally, Part 2 of the text (about 100 pages) is titled "When Sleep Fails." This section contains 5 chapters with considerable information about diagnosis and treatment. It contains sections on (among other things) the insomnias and their causes (e.g. mood issues, fibromyalgia), snoring and sleep apnea (a hugely important chapter; obstructive apnea is vastly under-diagnosed but treatable), narcolepsy, sleepwalking and sleep terrors, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
3) PEOPLE WHO HAVE A SLEEP DISORDER, AND WANT TO LEARN MORE. There's plenty in the book about theory, methods, and applications. If you want to become a walking encyclopedia on your (or your loved one's) sleep disorder, this book is an excellent place to start. Moreover, Dement provides websites which provide good information. You'll want to consult these websites to find out about new developments. For instance, CPAP machines for sleep apnea continues to improve, so find out the latest.
4) MEDICAL AND HEALTH PRACTITIONERS. Many clinicians don't know much about sleep disorders, and so this is a good place to start. Diagnostic tools like the DSM-IV are highly limited. (see 2 above). As a mental health practitioner who asks about sleep and who teaches group stress reduction courses, I've found that I'm in a good position to screen for things like sleep apnea. For instance, I'll sometimes have a room full of people doing a "body scan" or "progressive relaxation" and a fair number of people will fall asleep, and begin to snore. When I mention sleep apnea to these people, they usually haven't heard of it. But more than a few of them got the official diagnosis, and are benefiting from treatment. If you refer your clients to a sleep lab / sleep study, Appendix A gives you a language and classification scheme that you'll find very helpful.
5) INSTRUCTORS WHO WANT TO TEACH ABOUT SLEEP. I can imagine this book being used as a textbook for a course on sleep. There's plenty of theory, methods, and clinical interventions discussed in this book. I teach grad psychology classes that touch upon these topics, but this book is WAYYYY too long for that. I plan to review Appendix A in my classes, and to find a short chapter on sleep disorders (preferably by Dr. Dement). Once again, the DSM-IV offers a very basic coverage of sleep disorders, but Dement's coverage is more thorough.
Here are Dr. Dement's BIASES, as I see them.
1) Dr. Dement has a bias that causes him to emphasize some treatments while dismissing (more or less) other treatments. The reader will want to be aware of these things. I'm not saying Dement is right or wrong, but if your bias differs from his, you should know the following. Dr. Dement tends to favor the judicious use of medicines like sleeping pills in some instances, and he's less enthusiastic about many "alternative" strategies, such as herbs.
2) I've heard some people suggest that sleep treatments (like CPAP machines for sleep abnea), have become something of a racket. The suggestion is that if you go for a sleep study, it is worth it to the practitioners to diagnose you and sell you a CPAP machine. If that's the case, then perhaps Dr. Dement feeds into this conflict of interest, which leads to unnecessary treatments. Personally, I don't buy this. I think Dr. Dement is on to something BIG, and that we'll be better off if we diagnose and treat sleep disorders, with greater frequency.
Here are a couple other books that tackle many of the same topics. This book is not the only or final word on this topic.
Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine, 4th Edition (Principles & Practice of Sleep Medicine) by Meir H. Kryger, Thomas Roth, and William Dement (2005). For clinical professionals.
Sleep Disorders for Dummies by Max Ph.D., A.B.S.M. Hirshkowitz, Patricia B. Smith, and William C. Dement (2004)
So... I recommend the book and thank Dr. Dement for his remarkable contributions to sleep medicine.
****UPDATE**** March, 2007. There's a GREAT program on sleep that is viewable online via The Science Network and Roger Bingham. Search for "The Science Network" and "Waking Up to Sleep." The program contains hours of entertaining by leading sleep researchers. (Dement is not included among the speakers.) MUST SEE...