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From The CriticsReviewer: Katherine M. Sharkey, MD, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book's 19 chapters addressing epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of sleep disorders, with a special focus on the role that sex and endocrine differences play in the phenomenology and management of these conditions. The book is divided into five sections: an overview, and four sections concentrating on sleep during different stages of the female life cycle: adolescence, premenopause, pregnancy, and postmenopause.
Purpose: The editor's stated objectives are to help clinicians recognize sleep disorders in their female patients, guide in their diagnosis and treatment, and help to eliminate gender bias in sleep medicine practice and research.
Audience: According to the editor, the target audience is general: primary care physicians and other primary healthcare providers. However the book is more likely to benefit a more specialized audience, including those who treat women exclusively, e.g., obstetrician/gynecologists, and clinicians whose practices are focused on sleep medicine. The chapter authors are well respected clinicians and researchers including several internationally known experts. The authors represent a variety of specialties reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of sleep medicine.
Features: The book provides excellent overviews of the common (i.e., insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea) and more unusual (i.e., sleep related eating disorder) sleep disorders, as well as conditions that affect women exclusively, such as pregnancy and polycystic ovary syndrome. Particular attention is paid to how sleep disorders affect women uniquely. The book also emphasizes treatment approaches that are appropriate for different stages of the female life cycle, for instance, pregnancy and menopause. Chapters that address the same condition at different stages of the life cycle are complementary and not redundant. Most figures are helpful and add to the text.
Assessment: This would be a useful book for clinicians whose patient population consists mostly of women or patients with sleep complaints. It is well written and up to date and represents a worthy effort to close the gaps in our knowledge of sleep disorders in women.