THE COMPLETE BOOK OF SLEEP: How Your Nights Affect Your Days by Dianne Hales

THE COMPLETE BOOK OF SLEEP: How Your Nights Affect Your Days

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A general, popular-magazine-style roundup of practical tips--by a general science writer with no sleep problem and some shaky notions. Hales gathered and evaluated her information, she writes, ""solely on the basis of professional need""; we have it loosely arranged into ""the facts of sleep,"" ""sleep sense,"" and ""making it through the night."" ""The facts of sleep"" include the four stages of sleep and the unilluminating oversimplification (also classifiable, with much else, as padding) that many of us are ""less alert, less personable, less confident, and less happy because we are not getting the sleep we need."" ""Sleep sense"" lets the reader know that ""you'll probably change the number of blankets or quilts you use with the seasons,"" reprints a questionnaire from Mademoiselle on seeing what your bedroom says about you, and, more to some point, looks into the differences between how men and women sleep (women dream in more vivid colors, and are more likely to have nightmares, but generally do not sleep more than men). ""Making it through the night"" is devoted mostly to medical problems and some soft solutions. Among the shaky recommendations are some that are out-of-date (counting sheep works), some that are misinformed (glasses of milk don't work), and some that are still in dispute (children shouldn't sleep in their parents' beds). Indeed, Hales errs generally in not acknowledging how much about sleep is still unknown. A better all-round guide is Richard Trubo's How To Get a Good Night's Sleep (1978); more reliably informative on what is known is Jerrold Maxmen's A Good Night's Sleep (below).

Pub Date: May 1st, 1981
Publisher: Addison-Wesley