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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 16 March 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
(NB: I received what was described as an "uncorrected bound proof" to review. There were certain things like missing page number references, but I presume they will be fixed in the final version.)

This book is about the science of sleep and dreaming, and offers suggestions as to how we may utilise this knowledge to attain better sleep, better dreams, and better health (and happiness) thereby. It is presented in the form of a series of "lessons," each preceded by a simple assignment for the reader to carry out - so that one can then judge to what extent the teachings apply to oneself.

Whilst I enjoyed the material on the history of sleep research deeply informative and fascinating, I found the author's tone continually getting in the way of full enjoyment of the book. Wiseman feels an unfortunate need to continually adulterate his commentary with snarky remarks, which at times display a meanness of spirit. When he is not being mean, his attempts at witticism are so laboured that they evoke pity rather than humour.

So, yes, a well researched book on sleep and dreaming - but I would rather have preferred a book which ditches the sarcasm in favour of holding its subject matter in reverence.
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on 30 March 2014
This is a great introduction to the night. Wiseman takes us through loads of fascinating topics, such as controlling dreaming, night terrors, jet lag and sleep learning. Each time he reviews the research and then presents straightforward ways of improving this aspect of the night. Lots of the time Wiseman takes a light hearted look at the weird and wonderful world of sleep and dreaming, and is constantly informative without ever being too academic. I know some readers will want a very straight laced and po-faced look at sleep. This isn't that. It is fun, bouncy, highly informative and fast moving. Will this book help you get more out of the night? Absolutely. But more than that, it explains the science behind the advice. I wish I had known this stuff ages ago, and now love understanding what goes on in my mind each night.
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on 10 April 2014
Very informative and based on sound academic research. Written in a very entertaining and easy to read style. It is not a cure for insomnia (as some reveiwers expected) but it explains the intricacies of sleep patterns and does give some some very useful guidance hints and tips (again resulting from research projects not based on old myths). Well worth reading.
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VINE VOICEon 4 April 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Lots of good advice about getting a good night's sleep.I was hoping to find out exactly how much sleep I need,but this turns out to be quite complicated to work out. I suppose we are all different,so that makes sense.
As usual, Richard Wiseman writes in a very friendly,funny style,and I always enjoy his books.This would be really useful to lend to an insomniac friend,or just someone who needs to get their sleep pattern back.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 22 April 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Sleep. We all do it. But we all do it differently! This book gives an overview of this fascinating activity and general underlying principles as well as giving some advice on how to get better at doing it. Well worth a read.

It's a book written by eminent professionals with excellent credentials written in an accessible style for the general public rather than a scientific textbook aimed at students.
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on 2 April 2014
A very enjoyable and informative read. Full of useful exercises that definitely help me sleep better, plus it's been fun to play with my dreams. If you're looking for a book about sleep that won't put you to sleep, then this is it. Evidence-based stuff that really works!
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VINE VOICEon 18 April 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A good introduction to the current scientific understanding of the science of sleep, where we go when we sleep, why we sleep and dream, and how to sleep most effectively. Wiseman speaks about what happens when something goes wrong with sleep, disorders such as narcolepsy and sleepwalking, and the difficulties and dangers of going without sleep and shift working. Interesting and informative.
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on 5 October 2015
I reallh enjoyed this book. Very interesting and full of research based evidence
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VINE VOICEon 25 March 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I wouldn't advise this for anyone who suffers/lives with long-term sleep problems - it's alarmist and VERY negative... The book concentrates far too much on the dangers, problems and risks to health due to the lack of sleep than it does on anything else. At times both condescending and negative, and humorous in places it ought not to be... It does not even take into consideration the feelings of those poor folk out there who simply cannot sleep - and can do nothing about it...

Having been a person who has never slept properly in my entire life - someone who can recall peering at their parents snoring away through cot bars in the night wide awake during the 1960s, I can safely say that much of what this book says about the harm caused by the lack of sleep (or not the amount constantly suggested here) makes me living proof that that is not so; it's a well known fact that many people can live, operate and be happy on a very little amount of sleep. Whist I couldn't stand the woman, Margaret Thatcher was a classic example of a person who could get by on four or five hours' sleep per night, living an active life and living to a good age, it can hardly be said then to be set in stone that not getting enough sleep is both negative to health and life-shortening... All this book will serve to do to those poor people already worrying about feeling they are not sleeping enough, is to give them something more to worry about - and more likely keep them awake at night further still... All this cannot be taken seriously by the same book that puts great store by defining personalities on what position a person lies in their bed when they are falling asleep???

Far too much time in this book is spent on the retelling of famous tests and results that more often than not appear inconclusive. The little help it does give people on how better to get a good nights' sleep are pretty mundane, and are generally well-known...

The body is pretty good at sorting itself out; if it NEEDS sleep to the extent the body is 'threatened' health-wise by the lack of it - then I'm sure it will find it; whether you feel tired or not. The little tests (questions etc.) this book gives also serves very little purpose; the questions themselves give their own answers, and therefore having an irrelevance to the working out of scores you might find as results at the end...

If you cannot sleep properly - don't worry; you will not develop heart disease or take years off your life because of it; we are not talking about `forced' sleep deprivation here (which is a totally different thing altogether) but a natural and unique way of an individual human body - which will be different for everyone.
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VINE VOICEon 13 April 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is engaging and enlightening on the subject of sleep. It is written in an anecdotal style, but is based on proper research. Sometimes the humourous tone grates, for example, I was interested in the myth of the Ondine, but irritated the punchline was that she changed her Facebook status to Single Parent. However, the lightness of tone stops the book from getting po-faced or boring.

There is practical advice, for example, when it comes to dealing with snoring. I didn't know about the causes of snoring or much about the solutions. One of the latter is the terrifying-sounding 'mandibular advancement device'. I also didn't know that you can reduce the amount of dust mites in duvets and pillows by placing them into plastic bags and putting them into your freezer. Whether or not you should put the displaced fish fingers and frozen peas in your bed is not elucidated. (OK, I accept that getting the humorous tone right is harder than it looks.)

The exercises described in this book are designed to provide general insights into the sorts of techniques used by professionals, but the author is keen to remind readers that if they believe they, or their children, have a sleep-related issue then professional medical health advice should be sought. If however you think you could be sleeping better, or just want to know about this magical state in which we spend a third of our lives, then this is the book for you.
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