SLEEP LESS, LIVE MORE by Everett Mattlin


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All the conclusions have by no means been drawn on the purposes of sleep and the effects of its deprivation or reduction; but since that apparently does not serve the purpose of advertising executive Mattlin (The Phrase Dropper's Handbook), we are here treated to selective truths about sleeping. For one thing, Mattlin implies a connection between short-sleep patterns and high achievement--from Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington to Mayor Koch--though he does concede that ""Not all short sleepers are celebrities, of course."" He also admits that ""people seem to have a stubborn need for REM sleep,"" but pooh-poohs its psychological function; he can't explain the exact nature of the need, but he thinks it's probably not too important anyway: ""You really don't need a fraction of what you will get to maintain your psychological health."" And he is likewise inclined to dismiss such physiological effects as sleepiness or feeling tired as insignificant. The main target here is the eighthour sleeper, who supposedly should be able to reduce sleep time to seven hours easily and six hours eventually. Thankfully, the ""14-point program"" is at least gradual, and participants are encouraged to proceed at an individual pace. But the lack of scientific caution in the face of sheer confusion in the field is irresponsible, and potential dangers are simply not: foreseen at all.

Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 1979
Publisher: Lippincott