Sleep: It Does A Family Good (book review)

I was reading Dr. Archibald Hart’s book Sleep: It Does A Family Good a few nights ago in the evening, and my oldest son looked over at me and snickered. “What?” I asked.

He said, “I just think it’s kinda funny that you are reading a book about sleep just before you go to sleep!” I smiled at his sense of humor and kept on reading Dr. Hart’s fascinating book. And the more I read, the more I discovered that reading just prior to bedtime was the perfect time to read, as Dr. Hart explains that what I put into my mind just before going to sleep gets sorted and stored in my brain’s long-term memory as I sleep.

That is IF I get enough sleep. Sadly, that’s the problem with most Americans: we are chronically tired. Not getting the proper amount of sleep adversely impacts our memory storage and recall, our work/school performance, our decision-making abilities, our coping skills, not to mention our physical health. Some students have even been misdiagnosed with disorders such as ADHD when in reality they are severely sleep-deprived.

Dr. Hart diagnoses the power of sleep in three sections:

  • Why sleep is so important
  • What’s keeping us from getting enough sleep
  • How we can reap the advantages of better sleep

This is a very straightforward read, with just enough evidence to convict me that I need to work on my sleeping habits, but not so technical that the information became overwhelming. Dr. Hart has an easy-to-read style that anyone can grasp, and he includes several charts and assessments to help you personally gauge where you and your family are on the sleep spectrum. Then he offers very practical steps on how to begin to make better investments in your family’s sleep bank.

Years ago a friend said to me, “Sometimes the most spiritually healthy thing I can do is go to bed early.” It took me a while to grasp what my friend was saying, but it all became so clear when I read Dr. Hart’s book. Sleep, as it turns out, really does do a family good! I’m looking forward to seeing how things in my family improve as we all get more sleep.

I am a book reviewer for Tyndale House Publishers.

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