We start with a review of some trends and the current status quo around sleep and sleep time in our modern society, before looking at issues like sleep disorders, the science of sleep, and the industry, mainly pharmaceutical, supporting sleep. We then move on to what the author calls “The Way Forward” – practical ways to improve sleep, both in terms of sleep time, and quality of sleep.
Unsurprisingly the conclusions are we are sleeping less than our ancestors, and the change continues – the author quotes a UK survey that in 2011 reported 32% of people averaging less than seven hours night a sleep, increasing to 609% by 2014. Statistics like these are almost unbelievable, but with the explosion of smart phones/tablets, social media, and an always connected world, maybe this is the true curse of modern times? The effects of poor sleep – either not enough sleep time, or poor quality of sleep whilst there – are wide; we loose mental capacity, our responses to stress suffer, our digestion suffers, our cellular repair suffers. Risks of heart disease and type 2 diabetes increase; anxiety and depression levels increase.
On one level, I found nothing new or novel in the content, on the other hand maybe thats not surprising as sleep is such a basic, instinctive, task, that the boundary between common sense and science becomes blurred. However thats not to say I didn’t find the book useful – I did, if only to refresh understanding and bring some themes together.
For me personally, it was also an apt time to be reading this book, as sleep improvement – as in increasing sleep time by retiring just that little bit earlier – is a theme for me at present, and so it was a useful refresher as to the importance of this.
I feel this is a very useful book for anyone interested in exploring sleep a little more, and in expanding their knowledge. It may be a good book as well for those, like me, who are cheating sleep, and need a bit of a wake up call (the phraseology is ironic) around addressing this.
In short a book I would recommend. Heres a link to the book on amazon, and if you buy via this link Yinspire earn a small commission.