Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Sleep Hardcover – March 1, 2007
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
About the Author
Carlos H. Schenck, M.D. , is a senior staff psychiatrist at the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center, a renowned interdisciplinary sleep clinic and laboratory, and is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis. A recognized expert, he has identified and named numerous parasomnias with his colleagues, and is often quoted in the press, including The New York Times and The New York Times Magazine. He has also appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and on CNN.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I wrote an article about it on my website, Escaping Anxiety, listing a couple of the tips that were mentioned in this book for overcoming/preventing sleep paralysis. I can't post the link here, but you can find it on Google if you're interested.
But anyway, back to the book. It lists all of the main sleep disorders and a few ones that I've never heard of, with all of the symptoms, tips for treating them, and stories about people who have them. It's actually pretty fascinating, and can be really helpful if you're trying to figure out if you have a sleep disorder. Another good idea if you're not sure is to get a sleep study.
By Christina L. Graves
This review is written to provide a detailed synopsis on Dr. Carlos H. Schenck's "Sleep," to help interested readers in the selection process. Dr. Schenck is a leading practitioner and researcher in sleep medicine, and has more than 25 years experience. He is affiliated with the Regional Sleep Disorders Center.
Simply, and appropriately titled "Sleep," Dr. Schenck's "guide" to the common sleep disorders is highly informative, well written, and a great synopsis for anyone interested in disorders of sleep, whether a patient or a practitioner. This guide is terse, yet thorough, and within each chapter, he discusses what the disorder(s) is/are, who is afflicted, how they may be diagnosed, and possible treatment options.
Throughout the book, Dr. Schenck uses "real-life" patients that he has had in the past, and has included testimonials along with each of the disorders. He tells some of the stories himself, punctuated by testimonials. The delivery of content in this way is a highly effective rhetorical tool, and really allows the reader to empathize, in some cases. There is even a point in the book where he relays a personal story about both he and his wife's experiences with sleep disturbances, and this personal inclusion on the details of "the doctor's" life a refreshing, and help to alleviate the often-sterile disposition patients so frequently encounter with Doctors.
After a brief "Tour of Sleep," which includes a brief synopsis on the different stages of sleep, the book is broken down into chapters based on specific sleep disorders, or a particular class of sleep disorders. The book begins with the seemingly more common sleep disorders (for example, insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, and restless legs syndrome), and progresses through the more rare disorders, such as narcolepsy, REM sleep behavior disorder, sleepsex and NDD (nocturnal dissociative disorders). The organization of the book in this way makes it east to find a particular disorder (if you should happen to be looking for one), or to progress along with book as things unfold. I particularly appreciated the sections on sleepsex and sexual activity during sleep, as it seems these topics are absent from even a great number of "medical" textbooks on sleep. They are all too common to be so neglected, and Dr. Schenck does a wonderful job of covering these interesting disturbances. I did find, however, some of the information to be a little bit outdated. For example, we know a great deal more about narcolepsy than was referenced in the book. However, it takes a bit of time for current research to become accepted into mainstream medicine, and as a result some of the information is a little bit lagging, although everything is well referenced.
My favorite chapter of the book was one of the final chapters entitled "Parasomnia Potpourri." Here, the reader can find all of the disorders or abnormal sleeping events that occur without enough frequency to warrant their own chapter in this book, or to warrant a great deal of medical research. Topics covered in this section include exploding head syndrome, sleep laughing, and also talks about "pets with parasomnias!"
Bed Partner Insomnias
The final chapter discusses bed partner's insomnias, addressing the impact that a partner's sleep disorders may have on a person. I really appreciated this section of the book, because this seems to be a topic not many people cover. In sleep medicine, so much emphasis is put on the person with the disorder itself, that it is rare to find a whole chapter in a book dedicated to the bed partner, for whom things may also become very stressful!
In the back of the book there is a glossary where many common terms and abbreviations regarding the field of sleep medicine are found. For those unfamiliar with the terminology (and what can sometimes sound like jargon) in this field, the glossary can be particularly helpful.
In "Sleep," Dr. Schenck approaches the subject in a conversational manner, and in doing so, is able to effectively draw the reader in. He presents his information in a clear, concise way, free from technical jargon. He is definitely writing for the layperson - and not other experts in the field. His presentation in this manner make the book easy to read, and you are able to learn a great deal about sleep disorders, without glazing over during "sciencespeak." This style of writing, however, in addition to the ends of each chapter containing pharmaceutical treatment information tends to indicate some kind of "doctor/patient" relationship between the author and the reader, and doesn't read particularly well if you are very familiar with the topics at hand.
Pharmaceutical Treatment Options
One of the only complaints that I have for the book is that at the end of every chapter there is a few paragraphs on treatment options, which mostly include pharmaceutical options. While some sections include alternative treatments, the book fails to address disorders for which sleep disturbances are a symptom, and not a disorder among themselves. In many cases rectifying the underlying disorder may ameliorate the symptoms of sleep disturbances, and these cases are sorely neglected.
Sleep Disorders - Not Sleep Itself
In addition, while the book covers the main points of normal sleeping in the first chapter, it doesn't cover normal disturbances in great detail, and a little more information or discussion of dreaming would have been appreciated. This book is definitely all about sleep disturbances, not necessarily all about sleep itself. Anyone wanting a book on details about the different stages of sleep or on normal sleeping behaviors should NOT purchase this book.
Overall, I found the book to be informative, but not in an overly technical way. Anyone looking for brief overviews of some common (and not so common) sleep disorders should purchase this book. In addition, it may be a good read for general practitioners, medical students, or any other students with an interest in gaining broad and basic knowledge about sleep disorders and common treatments. I would not recommend the book to anyone who knows a great deal about sleep disorders, is an expert in the field, or who keeps up with current research in sleep medicine.