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HORNE : SLEEPFARING (英語) ハードカバー – 2006/4/13
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What is sleep? Why do we sleep? How much do we normally need, and what happens if you don't get enough sleep? Are we modern people with busy lives suffering stress from 'sleep debt'?
This book is about all aspects of sleep. It's a subject that interests and worries a lot of people. In recent years, the nature of sleep, our sleeping patterns, how much sleep we need, and the dangers of lack of sleep have become increasingly important, as people work longer hours, styles of working have altered, and the separation between workplace and home has been eroded by the mobile phone and the Internet. From drowsiness at the wheel, to stress and insomnia, this is a subject that matters to people.
Jim Horne gives an engaging account of what science has found out about sleep, and problems related to sleep - from snoring to sleep apnoea. He brings in brain physiology, psychology, medicine, and social factors. The book highlights recent research and Horne does not shy away from areas of controversy, for instance regarding the amount of sleep we actually need. As a result, it is likely to provoke lively debate among sleep researchers, as well as fascinating the general reader. As well as being richly informative about the nature of sleep, this book may just help you to get a good night's rest.
an impressive amount of material...a handy tour d'horizon (BBC Focus)
Horne's arguments are compelling. (New Statesman)
Overall a good read for those interested in sleep.
All that said, this really is not a good book. If you are interested in this topic as a layman you will be disappointed. After a few cohesive introductory chapters centered around the history of sleep research, the structure of the book falls apart. Chapters are tightly connected primarily through the material used in the binding. Even within chapters, Dr. Horne strikes out on unrelated tangents, usually to do with arcana such as quibbles about the instruments used in studies. It is true that the book is littered with interesting anecdotes and results. But I chose the word litter carefully.
Not only the lack of structure, but the writing makes this book difficult to read. Here is an example of a sentence from the book: "All this might seem rather academic, but it is not, and here is an example of why, from the Second World War, many allied aircraft crashed on homeward flights, after bombing raids or 'dog fights'." Now, this may simply be a typo. A change in punctuation (e.g., switching a comma for a semicolon) would make this a readable sentence (or two). This is the kind of writing mistake all of us make. I am sure I make mistakes like this, because I catch mistakes like this every time I revise my work. And I catch this kind of mistake in my students' writing all the time as well. And when I do catch a mistake like this in a student's writing, I usually write in the margin:
"if you didn't read this, why should I?"
I do not think the book is rigorous enough to be used as an text in a doctoral level class in sleep research, but it might be a great companion piece, used in coordination with a reading list of journal articles. One does get the sense that Dr. Horne would teach a fun class in this material. But unless you are a doctoral student in this area, I would avoid this book.
The author rambles, and goes off on tangents, none of which are too interesting, and all of which are confusing.
If this gives you any indication, none of the 10 folks in book club finished this book. Instead of discussing the book (other than to bemoan its awfulness), we drank wine, ate dinner, and discussed our social lives instead.
Do not waste your time or money - this book is not worth it. Unless you would like to have a boring read on your nightstand for those nights of insomnia ...