Understanding Sleeplessness: Perspectives on Insomnia

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9780801873263: Understanding Sleeplessness: Perspectives on Insomnia

Seemingly the most natural and necessary of pursuits, a good night's sleep eludes a remarkable number of people―up to 50 percent of the general population, according to studies, while 10 to 15 percent suffer from severe or chronic sleep disorders. Because the causes and nature of sleeplessness are so many and varied―and often as elusive as sleep itself―the diagnosis and treatment require a flexible, multifaceted approach―and this is precisely what David N. Neubauer lays out in Understanding Sleeplessness.

Building on the "four perspectives" conceptualized by McHugh and Slavney in The Perspectives of Psychiatry, Neubauer offers a much-needed explanation of the diverse ways of understanding what insomnia is and what should be done about it. He begins by surveying what is currently known about the mechanisms of "normal sleep" and, in this light, describing the problems of defining, assessing, and measuring insomnia. Drawing examples from patients studied at the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center, Neubauer then applies each of the four perspectives―diseases, dimensions, behaviors, life stories―to the varied kinds and degrees of sleeplessness. Finally, calling on the full range of perspectives on insomnia, he outlines an integrated approach to evaluation and treatment. His work will be of great interest and value to those who study and treat sleeplessness and to those who wish to understand this widespread and vexing problem.

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About the Author:

David N. Neubauer, M.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and associate director of the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

"With this book, Neubauer provides a coherent approach to the study of insomnia. (Indeed, he has in the process provided a model for the study of other psychiatric complaints.) Here is a thorough, case-illustrated account of the links tying insomnia to the characteristics of normal sleep―links of a kind that give significance to this common complaint and reveal it as a problem in life to be studied in psychological terms familiar to all psychiatrists."―Paul R. McHugh M.D., from the foreword

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