All For A Good Repose

Sleep Medicine

Words: Dr Rajgopal NIDAMBOOR

In The Promise of Sleep, sleep medicine pioneer, Dr William C Dement, MD, PhD, who passed into the sunset, two summers ago, aged 91, narrates a refreshing relevant medical idiom. This is keyed to help us get a good feel of a whole, new idea — the quintessence of sleep.

Dr Dement was an untiring researcher, and disciple of Dr Nathaniel Kleitman, PhD, who devoted the bulk of his entire professional life to the study of sleep. He first stumbled upon a couple of amazing observations that demystified the mechanism of sleep. To start with, the distinct patterns of sleep; and, finally, a definitive pattern, which Dr Dement himself was ‘symbolically’ destined to call — REM sleep.

Today, sleep science, or medicine, as Dr Dement put it, is exciting and diversified. It utilises all the tools of molecular biology and addresses gigantic scientific questions. This is enough reason why it has expanded into a full-grown clinical discipline with skilled practitioners being able to diagnose and treat a host of sleep disorders successfully.

Yet, the sad part is — most doctors and the general public do not quite recognise that such an immense storehouse of knowledge exists in the study and treatment of sleep disorders. Worse still, sleep medicine continues to be unfortunately overlooked in certain quarters.

Why Is Sleep Medicine Vital

Dr Dement argues that sleep has been experimentally proven to be the single most important predictor of longevity. People, who sleep well, live well and long. It is, he suggested, much more beneficial than diet, exercise, and heredity.

Dr Dement often emphasised that, for our sleep-sick society, sleep is the health marvel of all. And, how well do we all know of the price we have paid for ignoring the value of sleep, and its scarcity: heart disease, vehicular accidents, mental and psychological distresses, among a host of other disorders.

Sleep medicine explores the fundamental relevance between health, happiness, and a good night’s sleep. And, as new studies emerge, it provides us with more than a roadmap to regain the most powerful shield that nature has blessed us with — sleep.

Put simply, sleep offers much more than just a sound prescription to sleep health and wellness. It also uses tests to determine how much sleep one would need, including the role of sleeping aids, and the latest research on how sleep elevates our immune system.

To top it all, Dr Dement’s classy book presents the best way to combat sleeplessness [insomnia], snoring, and jet-lag — among other health concerns, or issues.

The Promise of Sleep
Dr William C Dement, MD, PhD
Dell
pp: 512
Price:  ₹1,252.00

Dr RAJGOPAL NIDAMBOOR, PhD, is a wellness physician-writer-editor, independent researcher, critic, columnist, author and publisher. His published work includes hundreds of newspaper, magazine, web articles, essays, meditations, columns, and critiques on a host of subjects, eight books on natural health, two coffee table tomes and an encyclopaedic treatise on Indian philosophy. He is Chief Wellness Officer, Docco360 — a mobile health application/platform connecting patients with Ayurveda, homeopathic and Unani physicians, and nutrition therapists, among others, from the comfort of their home — and, Editor-in-Chief, ThinkWellness360.

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