Gayle Greene has suffered from chronic insomnia all her life. She has explored an astonishing array of remedies, from hardcore sleeping pills to alternative therapies, and has found ways of coping, but never a cure. This book is written for and about the silent multitude of people who suffer from chronic insomnia, and whose lives are permanently ...
Gayle Greene has suffered from chronic insomnia all her life. She has explored an astonishing array of remedies, from hardcore sleeping pills to alternative therapies, and has found ways of coping, but never a cure. This book is written for and about the silent multitude of people who suffer from chronic insomnia, and whose lives are permanently distorted by it. In INSOMNIAC, Gayle travels the world in a quest for answers, interviewing neurologists, sleep researchers, doctors, psychotherapists and insomniacs of all sorts. What comes of her journey is an up-to-date account of what is known about insomnia, providing the information every insomniac needs to know to make intelligent choices amongst the vast selection of medicines and therapies. It is a fascinating account of Gayle's struggle, but it is also a timely and much-needed call to arms for more research into what really causes insomnia - so that the patient isn't automatically considered to be the one to blame.
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University of California Press, Berkeley, CA
Publishers Weekly, 2008-01-14 No one can describe a journey better than someone who's made the trip, and insomniac Greene's exploration of the disorder is both fascinating and disturbing. Many people, including doctors and insomniacs themselves, believe that sleeplessness is the patient's fault: too much caffeine and stress, irregular bedtimes, lack of exercise. In fact, no one knows what causes it, but the effects of insomnia are clear: as Greene, a professor of literature and women's studies at Scripps College, shows, sleep deprivation kills creativity, reduces levels of the hormones needed to repair cells and is directly linked to weight gain and memory loss, high blood pressure and diabetes. Insomniacs are usually referred to mental health practitioners or the growing number of sleep labs offering behavior modification or drugs (which, for Greene, have always "buil[t] tolerance, and rapidly," necessitating ever-larger doses). "This is a somewhat cranky book," Greene admits, and rightly so. "You can't live with this problem as long as I have, you can't be blown off and written off as many times as I have, and not get cross." Supplementing her own experience with that of other chronic insomniacs and a look at the science of sleep, Greene offers an enjoyable and informative account that will provoke even readers who get their full eight hours a night. (Mar.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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