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The Promise of Sleep | [William C. Dement]

The Promise of Sleep

Healthful sleep has been proven to be the single most important factor in predicting longevity. And yet we are a sleep-sick society, ignorant of the facts of sleep - and the price of sleep deprivation. Dr. Dement takes us on a fascinating tour of the sleeping body and mind in this eye-opening program.
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Publisher's Summary

Healthful sleep has been empirically proven to be the single most important factor in predicting longevity, more influential than diet, exercise, or heredity. And yet we are a sleep-sick society, ignorant of the facts of sleep - and the price of sleep deprivation. Dr. William Dement, founder and director of the Stanford University Sleep Research Center, takes us on a fascinating tour of the sleeping body and mind, revealing the price we pay for ignoring sleep - an epidemic of heart disease, 33 percent of traffic-fatigue related accidents, and immeasurable mental and psychological disadvantages. Dr. Dement offers a hands-on prescription for vibrant good health and longevity, including: self-tests to determine how much sleep you really need; information on the role of prescription and over-the-counter sleeping aids; the latest research on how sleep affects the immune system; how to combat insomnia, snoring, jet-lag; and much more.

©2000 William C. Dent, M.D., Ph.D., All Rights Reserved; (P)2000 Simon & Schuster, Inc., All Rights Reserved; AUDIOWORKS Is an Imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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  •  
    Kelly Sharpsburg, GA, USA 03-12-03
    Kelly Sharpsburg, GA, USA 03-12-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great things to know"

    This book was really helpful to me. It helped me realize that I suffer from sleep apnea and didn't know it. It gives hope to anyone who might or might not have a sleep disorder. It's practical stuff that will help ANYONE get a better life's sleep. More people should know how important sleep is in our lives!

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Freeman 03-07-04 Member Since 2003
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    "Pretty good -- not great, but pretty good"

    Dement is at his best when he's talking about sleep research and the various experimental results he's witnessed over his long career. It's fascinating stuff and it comprises a large part of this book, which is why I think the work overall is pretty good. I'm glad I listened to it.

    I don't give it a 5, however, because of two flaws. (1) Dement's commentary is often quite repetitive -- at the beginning and end of every section, for example, Dement drones on about how people don't realize how important sleep really is. OK, OK, we get it. (2) Dement name-drops and congratulates himself a lot. Many times, you get statements like this (paraphrasing): "When I was invited to testify before Congress, I told them how So-and-so, my good friend and distinguished colleage at Stanford, had made the remarkable discovery that...." or "In 1998, I won yet another grant from such-and-such charity, proving again the need in modern America for innovative sleep research." The book would have been better without such self-congratulatory indulgences.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ramesh 12-20-02
    Ramesh 12-20-02
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very illuminating"

    A must read for anyone who is interested in leading a quality life. The author an expert in the
    science of sleep elaborates in very simple language the profound role sleep plays in our life.
    It helps us appreciate how by adhering to some simple rules we can turn around our lives for
    better.

    22 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fernando Chapa 07-13-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Boring"

    I thought this book would help me solve my intermittent bouts of insomnia. It didn't. Most of the book is about the doctors experiences with his patients and a lengthy discussion about his career. A smaller portion of the audio does give some tips on sleeping better (like keeping a regular sleeping schedule).
    Also, his theory (as I understood it) that for every hour of sleep missed, it will have to be made up at some point in the future, doesn't make sense to me. That implies that a person who has slept an average of 6 hours per night for 10 years, would have to get 10 hours of sleep for 10 years in order to catch up.

    I have to admit that I may not have fully understood the material since I was too sleepy to fully pay attention.

    20 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Richard Short Hills, NJ, USA 08-11-03
    A. Richard Short Hills, NJ, USA 08-11-03 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Yawn"

    Most disappointing. Seemed to be a very superficial treatment of what no doubt is a fascinating subject. 5 hours of "if you sleep too little, you need more sleep" is not particuarly insightful or useful. Also, I thought the author was as interested in talking about his accomplishments as about the subject. He even found a way to weave in where his daughter went to college.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin Gordon Paia, HI, USA 06-18-03
    Justin Gordon Paia, HI, USA 06-18-03 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "Awesome"

    Lifechanging book on the real value of sleep and how to manage and understand your sleep and feelings of wakefulness during the day.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eli Champaign, IL, USA 08-18-09
    Eli Champaign, IL, USA 08-18-09 Member Since 2009
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    "science of sleep"

    If you want to know more fundamental knowledge and scientific discoveries of sleep, this book is for you.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    marcus indianapolis, indiana, United States 11-06-12
    marcus indianapolis, indiana, United States 11-06-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Health Fanatics Take Notice!"


    You cannot over estimate the importance of sleep for your health, both physical and mental. That is the message forever etched on my mind after enjoying this book.

    I'm a guy who pays a lot of attention to nutrition and exercise. It was not until I read this book, however, that I seriously considered how sleep is no less important than food and exercise in affecting body fat, muscle mass, heart health, hormone balance and so on.

    The author does a very nice job setting out in non-jargon laden language the science of sleep. Its remarkable to learn how "busy" the brain becomes during sleep. Data is sorted and stored. Nerves are refreshed and energized.

    No longer will I envy the guy who claims he "gets by with just 4 hours of sleep." We learn that even if this person is functioning at what appears to be a "normal" pace, he is actually working at a fraction of his capacity, and probably endangering his long term health.

    I especially liked the closing chapter in which the author gives us his suggestions for bringing on more healthful sleep.

    I highly recommend this book. A fantastic companion piece to this book is the Learning Company's lecture, "Stress", which also addresses sleep and health issues at length.





    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deepali 11-14-08
    Deepali 11-14-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I love this book and the narrator is great"

    I found this book so interesting- I love knowing the "why" behind things and I like lay science.

    The narrator's voice reminds me a lot of Garrison Keillor- it is very nice.

    I do wish I had gotten the unabridged print book rather than the audio though.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer TALLAHASSEE, FL, United States 03-26-14
    Amazon Customer TALLAHASSEE, FL, United States 03-26-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A truly scientific study of sleep with useful tips"

    This is the book I have been looking for about sleep. It is written by a doctor who has studied the subject in depth and has conducted numerous studies on the topic. Dr. Dement explores the both the scientific technicalities of sleep and the environmental factors that influence it.

    The main thing that I took away from this book is that we really don't get away with losing sleep long term. We develop a sleep deficit that will stay with us until we get enough sleep to make up for what we've lost. This was a scary and eye-opening concept for me. According to Dr. Dement, it will take a couple of weeks of discipline to get your sleep cyle and quality to where it needs to be.

    He addresses dreams, but not in a superstitious, mumbo-jumbo kind of way. He remains scientific about things, but he's not dry; I found the book to be very interesting. The only thing that almost put me to sleep was the narrator. Don't get me wrong - he has a beautiful voice - for inducing sleep. I thought that someone with a little more pep needed to read a book about this topic; I had to speed him up to 2x.

    I would recommend this book to anyone who has issues with sleeplessness. Even if you don't think you have issues with it, you may find out otherwise when you finish the book. It's really amazing how the amount and quality of sleep we get influences almost every aspect of our lives. To skip to the suggestions for improving sleep, just listen to the last hour to hour and a half. The only thing that would have improved the worth of this book would have been a PDF of Dr. Dement's sleep program. I have to go now...I'm going to catch some zzzs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Anne
    Aldbury Tring, Herts, United Kingdom
    10/22/09
    Overall
    "out of curisiosity"

    In bed by 1030 - hoping to drift off to sleep by 11, I found myself wide awake at 1130pm. I got up, went to the internet, and surfed. I wasn't planning on getting anything like this at all, instead, I was looking for audiobooks to accompany me on my walk the next walk. Then, I came across this audio somehow. It was now 1AM, and I was still awake, but knew I had to get some sleep..but how? So, I gave this a go. I've tried other hypnosis recordings before, but this one actually works! I was asleep in 30 minutes. Wish the ipod could automatically shut down after a recording like this, because the only time I woke up when when the ipod shuffle carried on and played some other music. I woke up, switched it off and feel gently off to sleep. wonderful!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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