Technology and Sleep: What Books and DVD’s/Audio Programs are out There That Can Help You Get Better Sleep?

The National Academies’ Institute of Medicine estimates that 50 to 70 million Americans suffer sleep disorders. The problem is serious enough that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have labeled it a public health epidemic. Sleep deprivation, beyond negatively affecting your quality of life, can lead to chronic health problems.  If you consistently have problems sleeping, or even if you just have an occasional restless night, these books and audio/video programs can help you understand the problem and perhaps find a remedy.

 Books (available as hard copies and e-books):

The ABZZZ’s of Sleep: Insomnia, Sleep Apnea & Other Sleeping Disorders: A Definitive Guide for Problematic Sleepers

James Kohan, M.D.

Dr. Kohan provides a survey of common sleep disorders and describes basic treatment methods. This very readable book is a good start for anyone trying to determine the cause of sleepless nights.

Say Good Night to Insomnia: The Six-Week, Drug-Free Program Developed At Harvard Medical School 
Gregg D. Jacobs, Ph.D.

Gregg Jacobs is an insomnia specialist at the Sleep Disorders Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The program outlined in his book was developed as an alternative to using sleep medications. He outlines the basic facts about sleep and insomnia and devotes a chapter to the pitfalls of sleeping pills. His cognitive behavioral therapy method requires patients keep a journal to uncover the causes of their insomnia, and he advises how to change insomnia-causing behaviors. He includes sections on dealing with shift work and jet lag. 

Can’t Sleep, Can’t Stay Awake: A Woman’s Guide to Sleep Disorders
Meir H. Kryger, M.D.

Dr. Kryger is on the Board of the National Sleep Foundation and a past president of the American Academy of Sleep. His book focuses on the unique problems woman have with sleep disorders. From hormonal changes brought on by menstruation, pregnancy and menopause to the stress of juggling career and family, Kryger, in an easy-to-read style, explains the challenges facing women and offers treatment options.

Restful Sleep: The Complete Mind/Body Program for Overcoming Insomnia
Deepak Chopra, M.D.

Dr. Deepak Chopra’s methods of physical healing are based on the holistic approach of ancient Hindu Ayurveda medicine, which holds that an imbalance in the body causes illness. Chopra explains the how your activities while awake are connected to your sleep, and he urges his readers to consider the relationship between their own natural rhythms and those of nature.

While Chopra’s methods are often characterized as alternative medicine, Restful Sleep offers fairly mainstream advice — eat a light supper, take an evening walk, set your bedtime at 10 p.m. to be in rhythm with nature. 

DVD:

Mayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for Insomnia

Produced by the prestigious Mayo Clinic, this DVD provides up-to-date information about insomnia, its causes and treatments. It addresses the role nutrition, exercise and stress play in sleep disorders and suggests lifestyle changes that may improve your quality of sleep. Mayo Clinic’s 52-page booklet, My Stress Solutions is included with the DVD purchase.

 Audio programs:

These programs are to be used when you turn in at night. Each CD or digital download combines a soothing voice, ambient music and calming sound effects to guide the listener into sleep. (Note: Do not plug these into your car audio system while driving!). Add one of these programs to your iPod or Mp3 player and it will be available for travel, helping you drift off to sleep in strange surroundings.

Deep Sleep with Medical Self-Hypnosis Audio CD – Audiobook
Steven Gurgevich, Ph.D.

Dr. Gurgevich is a psychologist specializing in mind-body medicine at the University of Arizona College Of Medicine.  Using hypnotic induction techniques, Gurgevich leads listeners into a trance, bringing them deeper towards sleep with breathing techniques and progressive body relaxation methods. The CD set offers five options for nightly sessions: 

  • Easy Sleep
  • Sweet Dreams
  • Creative Sleep
  • Healing Sleep
  • Deep Sleep

Sleep Solutions (The Calming Collection
Roberta Shapiro, Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist

Gentle music and a soothing voice guide the listener to sleep with imagery and breathing exercises. Sleep Solutions includes three programs, a 30-minute relaxation meditation for deep sleep, and two shorter “countdown to sleep” programs useful for returning to sleep when you wake in the middle of the night.

Blissful Sleep With Deepak Chopra

Chopra ushers the listener to sleep through the use of imagery, guided breathing and muscle relaxation techniques.”Blissful Sleep” includes a tract that leads the listener through the 16 stages of Anapanasati Breathing, the mindful breathing techniques of Buddhist meditation. Chopra maintains that sleeping problems do not begin when you go to bed; the quality of sleep at night depends on how you conduct your life throughout the day. He suggests including the six-minute, breathing exercise track “Ujjayi Yoga Pranayama” into your regular daytime playlists. The six-minute track will provide a break from everyday tensions that negatively affect your ability to sleep at night. This Mp3 download is a good accompaniment to Chopra’s book, Restful Sleep.