Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Night School-Richard Wiseman

Night School:Wake Up to the Power of Sleep-Richard Wiseman

the facts
satisfaction: side
pages: 352
gender: M
nationality: UK
year: 2014
non-fiction, popular science

Wiseman pulls together the various sciences of sleep.


Set up in a sort of self-help way, this is meant to help you sleep better. I am a habitual insomniac with a sleep cycle that in no way can be called consistent except for the almost rule of "can be found asleep at 5am" (exceptions abound). So I guess I am the target for this book. Why the "I guess"? Well, I am also an over-intellectualizer and have been in various doctor's offices so I kind of know a lot about sleep science as a layperson. I cannot quote specific studies and researchers like Wiseman can but let's be honest, there's actually so much that we do not know about sleep. The advice I've heard over the course of my life all pretty much sounds the same. Avoid stress, establish a routine, lay off the coffee, make the bedroom someplace really nice (invest in your linens and mattress), keep the temperatures low, avoid screen time, etc. Wiseman delves deep into all of the reasons why this advice is given, outlines the experiments and untangles much of the conclusions into clear unconfusing prose. His tone is sometimes a bit too jolly (I cringed at many of the 'dad jokes') but he sticks to common sense which is fairly refreshing compared to some sleep self-help texts. I did, however, get the sense of sometimes he is aggregating all of the information he could possibly find, without really considering how it works together and whether the work/research was valid. I understand this somewhat, as a desire to be as objective as possible means not injecting your value judgments, but at times, I craved criticism.

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