Sleep – most of us probably feel we don’t have enough of it, both a curse of modern life and something which is supported in statistics. But apart from the subtle guilt of knowing you need some more (me too), and the not so subtle ache of insomnia and disrupted sleep, we probably don’t think much about the mechanics of sleep.
This is the book that will change that – from how sleep affects memories and learning, through to how sleep impacts a slew of nasties like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. The effectiveness of exercise and diet. Attention. Road accidents. Erm, let’s get that early night.
Not so simple. It’s not, we learn, about one early night, or catching up on a weekend sleep binge (me too), but about consistent day in and day out habits.
I was once fond of saying, “Sleep is the third pillar of good health, alongside diet and exercise.” I have changed my tune. Sleep is more than a pillar; it is the foundation on which the other two health bastions sit. Take away the bedrock of sleep, or weaken it just a little, and careful eating or physical exercise become less than effective, as we shall see. (Extract, chapter 8)
Thankfully the author gives us some tips for good sleep hygiene and practices to improve our sleep – routine, winding down, light minimisation, and avoid sleeping pills which, he explains, do more harm than good. In essence work with our body not against it – the author is a Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at University of California Berkeley, previous at Harvard, so he knows his stuff.
This is a good, well written book, through, compressive, yet readable and clear for both the lay person and well being professionals. I gained a lot myself, and am trying to get that extra hour…