Dr. Alexander Golbin’s editorial presentation of important concepts and the scientific exploration into the world of sleep psychiatry is an example of a skilled educator, and a leading research and clinical physician. My favorite chapters are those that cover the sleep-wake cycles and the effect on daytime alertness and behavior. The most important of all discoveries about sleep was the recognition that sleep is not a passive state of rest, but a complicated and active cyclic process. Of equal importance, normal sleep was recognized as the foundation for normal alertness, and abnormal sleep as the foundation for abnormal alertness and psychiatric problems. This probability is evaluated and confirmed in research papers showing significant advantage to sleep-alertness relationships.
The new book Sleep Psychiatry, written by an international team of experts and published in England by Taylor & Francis /CRC Group, for the first time, categorizes and reviews published and original research data. Sleep Psychiatry presents this information and forms comprehensive concepts of physiological origin and discusses the basis of psychiatric problems, establishing a new field of sleep medicine-Sleep Psychiatry.
Twenty-eight chapters of the book, although written for specialists, are clear and simple, in reader-friendly style, and present multiple facts from internationally recognized researchers. It is a highly informative and useful resource. Among other topics, the authors convincingly present, review and confirm major conclusions:
- Sleep is a physiological basis for normal daytime mental and emotional functions.
- During the early development in infancy, the brain mechanism of sleep developed first and became a foundation for the development of normal alertness, attention and productive wakefulness.
- If sleep mechanisms are deviated in early childhood, it may lead to attention, alertness and emotional problems later on in life.
- Sleep is a healing, compensatory and recovery state.
- Sleep, if abnormal, may trigger sickness and even death.
- Treatment of sleep pathology may help in the treatment of some medical and psychiatric disorders.
Sleep Psychiatry was written as a global collaboration, with chapter authors from several university and research institutions. Among many interesting concepts, presented in this book are: the “search activity” by Dr. Vadim Rotenberg from Israel, an evolutionary approach to human sleep development by Dr. Alexander Shepovalnikov from Russia, an adaptive theory of parasomnias and sleep origin of daytime habits by Dr. Alexander Golbin from the USA, and the dangerous and forensic aspects of sleep by USA-Canadian research teams.
The quality of print in the book also leverages the ability for a clinician, doctorate candidate or sleep researcher to enjoy the multitude of graphic presentations and important charts and tables.
The earlier chapters in the book are somewhat broad; however, they introduce the reader to this new field. At times the text was missing some additional information that would clarify some voids and unknowns; though, later on in the book, each area was thoroughly covered and the reader is left with a feeling that the book was written to increase the appetite to read and learn more-unlike most textbooks; I was intrigued by every new chapter that brought with it a new understanding of a pioneering field. The last few decades and millions of dollars in research funding have produced an overwhelming amount of evidence to support the significant findings in sleep psychiatry. The book carefully presents these findings in a comprehensive and peer-reviewed format.
Sleep Psychiatry is a fascinating and monumental work which will definitely elicit active discussions and further research to prove or disprove these interesting and fresh approaches for the discovery and understanding of the biologic, physiologic, and psychiatric benefits for millions of patients with sleep and psychiatric problems.
I look forward to your review and an increase in the establishment of the field of Sleep Psychiatry. Sleep Psychiatry is sure to become “required reading” for all professionals in sleep medicine and in psychiatry.Nikos Linardakis, M.D. is a physician executive for Tharos Laboratories, Inc. in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the author of several medical books, and was Editor-in-Chief at McGraw-Hill Companies Health Sciences Division, New York.