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The Twenty-Four-Hour Society: Understanding Human Limits in a World That Never Stops

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0201626117
ISBN-10: 020162611X
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This vitally important book offers insights and advice relevant to most anyone who works for a living. Moore-Ede, a physiology professor at Harvard Medical School and CEO of Circadian Technologies, makes the point early on that contemporary technological society collides with the physiology humans have developed over eons, ill-adapting us physically to deal with the demands of jobs that can require us to be alert at 4 a.m. He shows how the employees in the airline business, the medical profession and the nuclear power, trucking and railroad industries, for example, suffer disastrous accidents because their circadian cycles have been disrupted. In amelioration, however, Moore-Ede notes that if fatigue cannot be measured, alertness can. If put into effect, his strictures could well save many lives and billions of dollars.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Today's work schedules, environments, and policies not only ignore what is known about the body's circadian rhythms, states the author (himself an expert on day-night rhythms of human alertness and fatigue), they actively counter biological cycles and propensities. But chronobiology, a hot research topic now starting to move out of the lab to address real life, may help modern societies address these problems. Moore-Ede (physiology, Harvard Medical Sch.) does not offer simple solutions. He argues that major shifts in thinking about scheduling, environmental stimulation, and strategic napping, plus greater commercialization of devices for light therapy, could greatly improve the health and productivity of U.S. workers. This book is likely to interest the many people who work odd or late hours; suffer from jet lag, insomnia, or other sleep disorders; or find themselves tired and stressed by a relentless schedule. Highly recommended.
- M.E. Chitty, Biotrends Research, Natick, Ma.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley (February 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 020162611X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201626117
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,708,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Not that science based is bad. In Fact, this was a great book and explains a great deal on why interrupting your sleep will effect you in many ways. But, it doesn't translate well to the average man. I am a firefighter who works a 24/48 schedule. I think that out of the many groups that the book delves into it missed going deeper into the group that suffers the most. Working a schedule that is 24 hours on shift and 48 hours off makes for a terrible work day. It gives us no choice. If we choose to work graveyard or swing shift then one can adjust your life to fit that life style. The 24 hour life style means that we can sleep on shift if we aren't busy (very rarely does that happen) but you can adjust your life to the needs of a community. So, one shift we may get up once after midnight. The next 4 times after midnight. Making the next 48 hours pure recovery time. And as the book points out, you can't catch up on sleep! So, for a 30 year career firefighters are struggling to maintain a life in sleep deprivation. I do like this book, but as I said from a blue collar perspective it is a tough read. It give insights into how to maintain and help live in a sleep deprived world. I suppose that is all the 24 hour society can do is work and live within the limits. I shared many points with my wife. And in turn this helped for communicating the "crabby" feeling shift work can bring. Though she is not one without the knowledge of sleep deprivation as we have 3 small children at the time I've written this review. And I can see the effects it had on her too. Good Book 4 stars for the attempts in makes on bridging the gaps of 9-5 and the real world of what it take to keep the community safe and running.
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Format: Paperback
As someone who's been programming since 8, I thought this book was fascinating in that it revealed a lot of what is going on in our machine-centric society. I found a reference to this book inspired by a sidebar in the book The Power of Full Engagement - I am experiencing first hand a disjoint in my relationship to time and the world and how I manage my energy.

I particularly like how he backs up everything he says with research. Though to be fair, this could easily be the employee manual for his Institute of Circadian Physiology, the organization he founded. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it's nice to hear what kinds of solutions work and don't work (so it's not all theory) but at the same time, because the book was written in 1993, the book sounds a bit dated and just leaves you curious what has been developed over the past 20 years.

The book states case studies from a nice breadth of industries: aviation, medicine, energy, transportation (trucking), and even executive management - all people who either have direct accountability for a large # of people (think: airline pilot who needs to stay alert on the job) or indirectly through executive decisions.
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Format: Paperback
If you are looking for a book about the hazards of sleep deprivation, your search is over.
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