Reading to Fall Asleep? Avoid this Book!

Reading in the bed

(DGIwire) — It’s no joke:  40 million of us in this country have a chronic sleep disorder, and another still whopping 62% of us admit that we experience sleep problems a few nights per week, according to the National Sleep Foundation.  Those were 2012 statistics—given a number of the factors, including ever-present smart phones and computers, night eating, night TV watching, and how much we all have on our minds the next survey could show even higher numbers of sleep-deprived souls.

Of course, good sleep practices are important for achieving healthy sleep.  The best advice is that 1) moderate physical activity may help promote sleep, but avoid vigorous exercise in the few hours before going to bed; 2) avoid large meals before bedtime; 3) avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime; 4) avoid nicotine.   We are also advised by many experts that 5) our bedroom should be a quiet, dark, and relaxing environment, not too hot or too cold. 6) that we should remove all TVs, computers, and other “gadgets” from the bedroom, and that 7) our bed should be comfortable and used only for sleeping and not for other activities, such as watching TV or listening to music.

Conventional wisdom also suggests reading to make you sleepy.  Well, conventional wisdom may fly out the window if you choose the wrong book!  One author, Kelly Parsons, discovered that he was inadvertently contributing to the insomnia epidemic with his new novel, Doing Harm.  This was especially concerning to him, since he is also an M.D.!  One reader recently wrote:

I thought I’d read a few pages before falling asleep last night and opened the first page of Doing Harm by Kelly Parsons. It was about 11:30 p.m. A gripping read. I tried several times to put the book down and sleep – but just had to finish this paragraph – page – chapter. Finally at 5:28 a.m. (yes, I couldn’t believe it either!) I finished! Needless-to-say I’m wasted today but it was worth it – Such a satisfying read! I can hardly wait for Parsons’ second medical thriller!

Stephen King called the book “Best damn medical thriller I’ve read in 25 years. “  A book that can keep the King of thrillers reading into the night has got to be amazing. But are you willing to take the chance that you won’t want to sleep till you finish the book?

The story centers around Steve Mitchell, happily married and in line for a coveted position at Boston’s University Hospital when his world goes awry. He botches a surgery; then another of his patients suddenly dies. Steve’s nightmare escalates when he learns that several mysterious deaths are the act of a sociopath for whom killing is a game.

Given that the highest rates of insomnia are found in women and in middle-aged and older adults, if that includes you–pick up this book at your own risk.  Then maybe pass it along to someone you think can afford to sacrifice a little extra sleep for an unforgettable experience!

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