An informative book, misleadingly titled, that combines an involved attack on sleep disorders with a solid, discriminating overview of the current state of knowledge on sleep. Maxmen is a psychiatrist--at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia--with access to a sleep-disorder unit; he here applies his expertise, valuably, to explaining what sleep is and how it becomes disordered, and to sorting out the proven from the mythical and the still unknown. Insomnia hits at three different stages: falling asleep (when the cause is often tension); during the night (likely to be caused by medical problems, such as sleep apnea); and early wakening--a less common condition, Maxmen notes, than difficulty in awakening (to which he devotes a whole chapter). Also discussed is the intriguing, little-understood question of how sleep is affected by different mental illnesses, from depression to schizophrenia. Maxmen's program, however, is somewhat diffuse; the reader is required to sort things out and track them down throughout the book--though the tools are all there. He specifies seven essential commitments--be prepared to go it alone, to change, to be patient and persistent, etc.--but the basic idea is simple: if the problem is minor, you can treat it yourself; if it's major, get help. And, whatever you do, stay away from rills. A thorough, comprehensible review, then, and interestingly readable for the curious--but more demanding than Richard Trubo's How to Get a Good Night's Sleep (1978) for those whose primary concern is controlling a sleep problem.