by Jim Horne, PhD, 272 pp, with illus, $29.95, ISBN 0-19-280731-5, Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 2006.
This physically small book, easily held in the palm of one hand, is the single-author work of Jim Horne, professor of psychophysiology at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom, director of the Loughborough Sleep Research Centre, and editor in chief of the Journal of Sleep Research. This book is not aimed toward sleep medicine professionals, though when Prof Horne hits full stride in his discussions of his own work in sleep deprivation, most would find it worthwhile reading. Prof Horne, likewise, has no qualms about talking a stand against the popular wisdom regarding the role of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and the dangers of “sleep debt” in our artificial light–dependant modern society. The book in 23 chapters attempts to touch on the breadth and range of the comparative physiology of sleep; the history of behavioral sleep medicine; the imagery of dreams; the physiology and pathophysiology of sleep, sleepiness, and wakefulness, including the pathophysiology of insomnia; sleep-disordered breathing; childhood sleep disorders; and restless legs. Though Prof Horne gives sage advice on management of behavioral sleep disorders, his individual presentations of other sleep abnormalities are brief. It is as if he feels a need to mention these disorders because of the implications of the book's title but is less comfortable with their full discussion.