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April 14, 1978

Human Sleep and Its Disorders

Author Affiliations

Pennsylvania State University Hershey

JAMA. 1978;239(15):1552. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280420088028

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This book is intended for the student as well as the professional researcher. It aims to discuss the current knowledge on the mechanisms of sleep and relate this information to a variety of disorders, including insomnia and narcolepsy as well as schizophrenia, depressive illness, and alcoholism. The authors discuss in detail pharmacologic and endocrinologic data relating to the regulation of sleep.

The primary difficulty with this book is that the various topics and chapters are treated in an uneven and inconsistent manner. The most striking examples are the two chapters on narcolepsy and disorders of excessive sleep and on clinical studies of insomnia. These topics are treated in a superficial and incomplete manner, and the book would have been much better had these chapters not been included in this form. Also, there is absolutely no mention in the book about common sleep disorders such as enuresis, somnambulism, and night terrors.