Book Review

It’s book review day.  If you remember (and even if you don’t), I’ll be reviewing Dr. Tracey I. Marks’s Master Your Sleep: Proven Methods Simplified. Unfortunately, Dr. Marks did not get back to me before today to answer my question about how her book specifically applies to early stage Chronic Kidney Disease sufferers.  Ordinarily, that would make me think twice about reviewing her book, but it is possible that she intends to send me that e-mail at a later date.  I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.

According to her biography on the back cover of the book: “Tracey Marks, MD is an Atlanta psychiatrist and psychotherapist who has a special interest in how the mind and body connect to shape our quality of life.  Dr. Marks has worked with numerous women struggling to balance their life and work, while also overcoming burnout, depression and other stress-related issues.

Dr. Marks obtained her undergraduate degree from Duke University and her medical degree from the University of Florida.  She completed her residency training at The New York Presbyterian Hospital, Cornell Medical Center.”

Now that we know who the author is, a discussion of what the book contains is in order. I won’t go into too much detail, even though I know I can’t spoil a non-fiction by telling too much because this is only a review, not a book report which would tell you a great deal more (Aha!  Snuck in a little bit of teaching writing there, didn’t I?)

Dr. Marks starts us off with the basics: facts about sleep, what happens if you don’t sleep, why you can’t sleep (if you can’t), and who might need which sleep disorder evaluation.  She effortlessly moves into sleep solutions such as medications, and different kinds of therapies: behavioral, cognitive, and bright light.  The doctor also includes a chapter on sleep disorders in children and a final, summary chapter to pull together the information in the previous chapters.

She has thoughtfully included many tables, such as the sleep needs by age and the caffeine concentration in foods tables among others.  In addition, Dr. Marks has included copies of both parts of the sleep diary she writes about, the assumption log and the problem-solving worksheet which are also down loadable from the website mentioned in the appendix.

The book itself is appealing in that it’s printed on non-gloss paper and the cover is in muted colors.  Most interesting to me was her simple analysis of what was (for the most part) a common sense approach for falling and staying asleep.  I had to re-evaluate the common sense part of that sentence when I realized it took me decades to make this material “common sense” for myself.

As Chronic Kidney Disease patients, we’d be particularly interested in her discussion of how much fluid the bladder holds, how full it needs to be before we feel the urge to urinate, how long different fluids take to pass through our bodies and how to avoid numerous wake-ups to urinate. The following is from that discussion: “Your kidneys will continue to filter your blood overnight but at a much slower rate than during the day.”

A really nice touch was the “Master Your Sleep Cheat Sheet” that is inserted in the book.  You don’t even have to tear it out. It is sturdy, portable and quite clear cut.

While I would not necessarily make this book my sleep bible, I did find it helpful.  I’ve already tauted some of its wisdom to friends and family who needed the information.

Enjoy the book, if you decide to read it.  I’m fairly certain you can email her questions of your own via her website which is mentioned in the book.

It’s Friday, the sun is shining (here) and the dog is barking which means someone is at my door. I have a door bell, but she’s better than a door bell.

So, until Tuesday,

Keep living your life.

Published in: on February 11, 2011 at 11:50 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hello! eeeeeea interesting eeeeeea site!

    • I’m not sure what eeeeeeea means and this comment does come from a site that sells pharmaceuticals, but I’m glad to bring a little comfort and understanding wherever I can. Note to those reading Pharmc523’s comment: I am not endorsing any products, simply responding to a blog reader.

  2. […] Submitted on 2011/02/11 at 5:50 pm […]

    • This is an example of the kind of pingback I often receive. I’d like to thank whoever is providing links to my blog, but need your names or organziations. Let me know and I’d be delighted to publicly thank you.

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