on 3 October 2013
I've read a lot of books on sleep ... and this is the best one I have come across to date. It is written in a very clear style and has a good balance between scientific explanation and practical help, so both those who have recently developed a sleep problem and long-term insomniacs should find plenty of interest here. I certainly learned a few new things, especially in Chapter 6 on the various Sleep Disorder categories (pgs 137-187). I had always believed my insomnia developed in my early 30s, but looking at all the different types, I did have some symptoms from early childhood.
The author advises reading the whole book without skipping bits, and I would recommend doing this as it works well as a "whole". There are some websites, etc, recommended at the end. I've had a quick glance at a couple of these and am not sure how useful I would find them, but others might.
One area that is only touched on superficially is diet and the effects of different foods on sleep. Some people are more sensitive than others, of course, but personally I find a satsuma after around 5 pm keeps me awake for hrs, celery at any time gives me painful leg cramps around 2 am, and dark chocolate makes my restless legs much worse. Isolating foods that may affect you is very trial and error, and quite time consuming, but for me, it has been worth the effort.
For many people with sleep problems, there are no magic solutions, and the author does acknowledge this. You do have to experiment to find what is effective for you, either in terms of improving your sleep or coping with the deficit.
on 1 October 2013
I disagree with the previous reviewer -- this book is packed full with practical information, from how to assess your current sleep behaviour to strategies for tacking specific sleep problems (simple ones and complicated ones). It even includes advice on choosing the right mattress! But unlike a lot of other sleep books on the market (believe me, I've looked at many!) this book gives the science behind the strategies too -- making it completely convincing. And it's all really easy to understand. I would definitely recommend if you have issues with your sleep.