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From The CriticsReviewer: Howard M. Kravitz, DO, MPH (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This is a comprehensive book of sleep and sleep disorders in adults and children. In 71 concisely written chapters, this multiauthored book addresses topics ranging from basic physiology to clinical disease recognition, diagnosis, and therapy.
Purpose: The editors' stated purpose is "to write a comprehensive and current text on sleep medicine that is authoritative enough to stand as a major reference in the field yet practical enough for everyday use in the office or sleep center." These worthy goals are achieved.
Audience: By design, the editors target a wide and multidisciplinary audience, including sleep researchers, pulmonologists, neurologists, psychiatrists, primary care physicians, sleep technologists, respiratory therapists, nurses, residents in training, and students. In trying to offer something for everyone, the editors faced the formidable task of satisfying a diverse group with different backgrounds and sometimes competing needs. A tough goal to achieve — more likely, some sections/chapters will be more relevant for some groups of readers than for others, and few will read this book cover-to-cover.
Features: The 71 chapters are divided into 15 sections, consisting of 2 to 11 chapters per section. The basic sleep sections include normal sleep physiology and neurobiology and the ontology of sleep. An introductory clinical section reviews the sleep nosology and forensic sleep medicine. The clinical sections are divided according to sleep-related symptoms (insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness, parasomnias, circadian rhythm disorders) and disorders (sleep disordered breathing), and sleep in pulmonary and other medical, neurological, and mental disorders. Five chapters on sleep disorders in children and four chapters on medication and drug effects comprise two separate sections. The last section covers monitoring sleep and wakefulness in nine well-illustrated chapters. The content is current and adequately referenced. Color pictures rather than black and white would have better complemented the clinical material and enhanced the figures.
Assessment: Nowhere is the saying that "competition is what made America great" better exemplified than in the medical textbook world. This book has arrived two years after publication of Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine, 3rd edition, by Kryger, et al. (W.B. Saunders, 2000). With a few exceptions, the editors of this book have recruited a new team of contributors and now can claim to have the most current book in the field. Nevertheless, except for a few unique aspects (e.g., forensics, women's sleep, sleep disorders in children) the content is more similar than different (the Kryger has a companion book devoted to sleep in children). On balance, this book is about half the size (and price) of the Kryger, and should be regarded as a serious contender in the sleep medicine book market derby. I now have both — the choice is the reader's.