Bookshelf |

Clinicians’ Guide to Sleep Medicine FREE TO VIEW

Peter S. Guido, MD
Chest. 2003;123(3):968-969. doi:10.1378/chest.123.3.968-a
Text Size: A A A
Published online


By Neil J. Douglas. London, UK: Arnold, 2002; 251 pp; $45.00

In the rapidly expanding and evolving field of sleep disorders medicine, there is a need for clinicians to have concise, user-friendly sources of information. While there are several well-respected sleep medicine reference texts available, these tend to be aimed at a target audience of sleep medicine specialists. Douglas’ Clinicians’ Guide to Sleep Medicine provides an enormous amount of information in a highly readable manner, accessible to nonspecialists and specialists alike.

Dr. Douglas approaches sleep disorders medicine in a clinically relevant fashion, rather than going through a rigorously defined classification of sleep disorders. The book begins with a brief discussion of basic sleep mechanisms, then discusses the most common disorders that one will encounter in clinical practice, and then progresses to descriptions of more unusual disorders. There is also comprehensive coverage of medical disorders affecting sleep, with separate chapters on COPD and sleep as well as asthma and sleep, reflecting the author's extensive expertise in the field of pulmonary sleep physiology. Figures and charts are carefully labeled and easy to understand.

Befitting its intended audience of nonsleep specialists, the sections on obstructive sleep apnea and narcolepsy are the most encyclopedic, since these are two of the most commonly encountered disorders. Douglas sets out by outlining the historical perspective, etiology, and mechanism, then fleshes out his descriptions with clinical features, the techniques of diagnosis, and treatment options. The narcolepsy section includes a short, but easily understood explanation of the genetics of narcolepsy, including recent research into hypocretins, as well as human leukocyte antigen typing. Clinicians should be particularly pleased by Douglas’ section on treatment of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. He presents a cogent discussion of how continuous positive airway pressure therapy should be implemented, as well as providing useful information regarding predictors of compliance, and stressing the need for adequate follow-up care after continuous positive airway pressure therapy is prescribed. I must say that his statement that “We … no longer record sleep during [CPAP] titration studies” is bound to be a controversial point for most practicing sleep specialists, although he does take care to defend his position by pointing out how sleep can be monitored, albeit less definitively, without EEG recording. His discussion of surgical therapies makes references to his prior detailed discussion of the pathophysiology of the upper airways. The author is also careful to discuss how our understanding of the benefit of certain surgical procedures for obstructive sleep apnea is hampered by the relative lack of carefully conducted randomized studies.

In his preface, Douglas asserts that he wanted to create a book that is “more readable and clinically useful.” I think that he has absolutely met this goal, as the book can be easily read in a few sittings, leaving the reader with a good foundation for understanding the complex spectrum of sleep disorders. One of my favorite features of this text is the “Useful Review.” At the end of several of the chapters (separate from his references), Douglas typically directs the reader to longer, comprehensive evaluations of such topics as shift work, hypnotic use, treatment of restless legs syndrome, and periodic limb movement disorder.

In summary, I feel that this book is appropriate for just about any clinician who would like a thorough review of the basics of sleep medicine, without having to wade through unwieldy reference texts. It would be ideal to keep at hand in an office practice, and as a teaching tool for medical students or residents interested in sleep medicine.




Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

  • CHEST Journal
    Print ISSN: 0012-3692
    Online ISSN: 1931-3543