Anyone having trouble sleeping has heard all the old “sleep hygiene” rules: Don’t drink caffeine after 2 pm, use the bedroom only for sleeping, put down your screens an hour before going to bed. But as the millions experiencing from poor sleep can attest, just following these overly simplistic, one-size-fits-all directives doesn’t work.
The new book, How to Sleep: The New Science-Based Solutions for Sleeping Through the Night (Artisan, December 8, 2020) is here to rewrite the rules and help you get to sleep—and stay asleep—each and every night.
Written by Rafael Pelayo, MD, a professor at the sleep medicine clinic at Stanford University, the new book offers a medically comprehensive and holistic approach to the myriad issues that might be affecting your sleep.
He begins by grounding us in the biology of sleep, including the reassuring fact that no one actually sleeps through the night—we naturally wake up every ninety minutes.
Pelayo then tackles the major sleep issues one by one, such as snoring and its causes; the difference between transient and chronic insomnia, and how to treat each; strategies to combat jet lag; how lifestyle choices affect your sleep, including exercise (even 10 minutes helps), meditation (try it right before bed), and food and drink (alcohol is a double-edged sword—it may help you fall asleep faster, but it often interferes with staying asleep).
There’s advice for the bedroom—on white noise machines, ambient temperature, what to look for in a pillow—and answers to questions, from when to see a sleep medicine specialist to how aging affects sleep. All in all, it’s aims to help readers sleep better, wake up refreshed, and live a healthier life.