Good Night: The Sleep Doctor's 4-Week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health by Michael Breus, Ph.D., DUTTON an imprint of Penguin Group Inc., New York, 2006, ISBN 0525949798, HC, 326 p.
Surely all of us, at one time or another, have gone a few rounds with insomnia. When you've had trouble sleeping, you drag yourself out of bed in the morning feeling all achy and exhausted, just as if you had been in the ring battling an opponent all night. In his book Good Night: The Sleep Doctor's 4-Week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health, Dr. Breus coaches you on all the effective ways to overcome insomnia – ways that many of us would never even think of! – and put it down for the count. I found his book expertly written in a conversational and friendly style with suggestions and instructions that are easy to understand and follow.
Part I of the book is called "Quick-Fix Sleep Solutions" and includes the first four chapters. You know what a bad night's sleep is, but what exactly is a good night's sleep? In chapter one, Dr. Breus explains enough about the science of sleep to give you a good foundation for understanding how and why a good night's sleep is necessary to feeling good and looking younger. Chapter two introduces you to the "Three Most Troublesome Culprits in Disordered Sleep…and How to Conquer Them." (If you guessed that caffeine is one of the three, you're right; however, the third culprit might surprise you!) The discussion in chapter three is about the people in your life – your partner, children, and business associates – and how you can manage the disruptions in sleep they may cause. Chapter four is "The Extreme (but Easy!) Bedroom Makeover" and is one of my favorite chapters. In it you learn how to make small changes in the bedroom that add up to a big difference, enabling you to improve your quality of sleep!
"Part II: From Waistlines to Face Lines: You Are What You Sleep" includes chapters five, six, and seven. Did you know that a poor night's sleep can undermine your diet, exercise, or combination weight-loss program? The first chapter in part two discusses how the body chemistry behind a good night's sleep can not only enhance your weight-loss, but acts as a "cosmetic medicine" that empowers your cells to rejuvenate and reverse the damage caused by age, stress, environment, and other factors. Chapter six talks about the important role played by quality sleep in the areas of exercise and sex, and how the right kind of sleep can not only perk up your love life, it can enhance those intimate moments with your partner. If you have ever thought that a nap in the afternoon was a good idea, chapter seven will show you how right you are, and Dr Breus explores different types of naps to help you choose the one that will deliver just the right amount of rest and energy without adversely impacting your sleep that night.
Part III launches the remarkable four-week program, "28 Nights to Sound Sleep Forever" developed by Dr. Breus. Chapter eight takes you step-by-step through the first week of his comprehensive and detailed program to improve your rejuvenating, regenerating sleep. He leads you through a series of small changes from scheduling sleep time to relaxation techniques while you keep a Sleep Diary to record your reactions. Evaluation is the keyword for chapter nine; here you will take the second week to review your Sleep Diary entries from the previous chapter so that you may evaluate the effectiveness of each change, and try some new techniques if you need to. You also receive friendly reminders that help you to stay on track. Weeks three and four of the program comprise chapter ten; here you finalize and follow your personalized sleep program by combining and practicing all the bedtime routine, relaxation, and other techniques that worked well for you.
"The Sleep Aid Industry" is the topic of Part IV of the book. Dr Breus answers a few common questions concerning sleep-aid supplements and pharmaceuticals. As a holistic practitioner myself, I especially value this information about the hazards of using medications or other "quick fix" techniques in attempting to attain quality, restful sleep. To close, The Sleep Doctor offers some excellent guidelines to follow in order to reap the benefits of a completely natural night's sleep for business and vacation travelers, and people who work evening or night shifts.
The two appendices at the end of the book include a reminder list in outline format along with Sleep Diary charts, and a list of additional resources.
I am delighted to have this book in my toolkit to recommend to stress-management clients as well as to other holistic practitioners. You can learn more about Dr. Breus and his book Good Night: The Sleep Doctor's 4-Week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health, by visiting his website www.soundsleepsolutions.com . You will find many articles about a variety of sleep problems, and you may also subscribe to his free "Sleep eNewzzzletter!" You should also visit "The Insomnia Blog" http://www.theinsomniablog.com/ where you may find not only great posts to read, but you can listen to several podcasts of Dr. Breus sharing his expertise in order to help you to overcome your sleep problems!
Good Night: The Sleep Doctor's 4-Week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health