Lights Out – Book Review

I can highly recommend Lights Out by T.S. Wiley, it is well worth reading… Chapter 9, Damage Control!

To be honest, this is the hardest book I’ve read in the last 5 years. I nearly put it down many times. To get the full effect of this book, you really need to buy it its very own soap box to sit on. I really don’t think I got anything out of chapters 1-8 except vitriol.

In summary the book is about why you should sleep at least 9.5 hours per day, especially during winter. It works on the premise that we evolved on a planet with seasons and our bodies adapted to expect those seasons. When we mess with our body’s interpretation of what season it is, by turning the lights on after dusk, we are screwing up a cycle seasonal process that’s fundamental to our well being and survival.

It’s a reasonable premise, but what I found the most difficult about this book is that none of its assertions are backed up with specific references. Oh sure, there is a plethora of “End Notes” at the back, but where it makes some statement, as if it’s fact, there’s no citation. So you don’t know what to believe as scientific evidence and what is just conjecture of the author.

But more than that, it’s the tone of the book I also found hard to cope with. Where the author agrees with a piece of prior research, it’s always stated as “They agree with us.” not the other way round. The topics meander round, jumping from point to seemingly irrelevant example.

However, Chapter 9 is great. I’d read just this chapter alone to be honest. It contains a wealth of great practical advice for improving your sleep and life and health. If I’d just read chapter 9, I would still have gained everything I got out of this book, but saved myself 3 weeks of reading to boot.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Bad Wabbit 24 January 2010, 10:07 pm

    Sounds like an interesting read, but will you be testing the theory? At Christmas I got a Lumie alarm clock (http://www.boots.com/en/Lumie/) and whilst its nice when you do wake up to the gentle 30-min lead in to full sunlight, the days when you *don’t* suggest that a more traditional set of alarms is useful as a back-up – esp when you have to get to work!!

  • Colin McNulty 25 January 2010, 7:53 pm

    I honestly don’t think I could sleep that long to be honest, but I have been going to bed at 9pm during a week night, and I do try to reduce the lighting in the evening. The problem of course, is how do you quantify any change?

  • Stephen J 29 January 2010, 6:01 pm

    9.5 hours??

    Goodness me, I wish!

    I’m so stressed I sleep about 5 hours or less at the moment. I am turning into ‘Jacks irritable colon’ as the weeks go by.

  • Colin McNulty 30 January 2010, 5:09 am

    Why so stressed Steve?

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