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Davidson, L. (2017). The Sleep Revolution—Transforming Your Life One Night at a Time, by Arianna Huffington, Harmony Books, New York, 2016, 392 pp.. Psychodyn. Psych., 45(2):301-303.

(2017). Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 45(2):301-303

Book Reviews

The Sleep Revolution—Transforming Your Life One Night at a Time, by Arianna Huffington, Harmony Books, New York, 2016, 392 pp.

Review by:
Leah Davidson, M.D., PC

The nature, purpose, and quality of sleep have been a human preoccupation from the beginning of our appearance as a new species on earth. As practicing physicians and mental health professionals, we deal daily with disruptions of sleep and sleep deprivation. In our practices we observe the effect of these phenomena on physical and emotional wellness. We become aware when counseling patients of the difficulties of implementing with patients a sleep hygiene discipline. Even after the patients' application of the discipline it often becomes inconsistent or inadequate. The next resource is of necessity a return to the instant help of sleep medication. This, then, raises anxieties in both patient and doctor about the possibilities of long-term addiction.

Arianna Huffington, in this book, quotes many ancient and modern comments on sleep deprivation and the seductive charms of normal sleep. The focus in all of these is on sleep as a restorative function. The poet, John Keats, in his poem “To Sleep,” addresses this in the following lines: “Then, save me, or the passive day will shine upon my pillow, breeding many woes.” Poet Thomas Dekker adds the following: “Sleep is the golden charm that ties our health and our bodies together.”

With all of this common knowledge, why does an unsolicited psychiatrist undertake a review of a book aimed at the public—the so-called “trade”? In my opinion, Huffington has done us an enormous service in providing us with an organized and persuasive synthesis of reasons to reinforce sleep discipline.

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