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Customer Review

61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed with life-saving information!, July 12, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Promise of Sleep: A Pioneer in Sleep Medicine Explains the Vital Connection Between Health, Happiness, and a Good Night's Sleep (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. I did not realize that I was sleep-deprived, or that sleep debt accumulates, until I read this book. The book includes a three-week plan to improve one's sleep. I actually tried it, and now sleep is a priority for me. As a result, my days are much more productive. This book was excellent. I would unhesitatingly recommend it to anyone, on the basis that it will change, and even save, lives. It would serve as a good gift, as well.
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