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Lillian Wilson

Hello Sleep by Jade Wu

A comprehensive guide to combating insomnia through lifestyle changes without medication.

Hello Sleep

The book has gotten 4.20 ⭐️ on GoodReads.

“A compassionate guide to combating insomnia…Readers struggling to get enough sleep will find a welcome resource here.” 
– Publishers Weekly

Sleep is an essential component of our lives, influencing our productivity, motivation, and overall well-being. It ensures our bodies and minds are rejuvenated, and protects us from a myriad of health issues.

Unfortunately, insomnia affects about 10% of the global population, leaving many individuals longing for restful nights.

In ‘Hello Sleep,’ a practical and comprehensive guide, Dr. Jade Wu provides valuable insights and actionable strategies to enhance the quality of our sleep. With its wealth of knowledge, this book promises to steer us towards better sleep habits, enabling us to reap the numerous benefits of a good night’s rest.

Author’s background

Dr. Jade Wu, PhD, DBSM, is a highly regarded psychologist specialising in behavioural sleep medicine. As a researcher at Duke University School of Medicine, she is committed to enhancing our understanding of sleep.

Dr. Jade Wu (r)

Dr. Wu’s expertise has made her a sought-after author, speaker, and scientific consultant, with appearances on prominent media platforms such as NPR, ABC, the New York Times, and the Huffington Post. With a passionate mission to promote healthy sleep habits, Dr. Wu aims to share the invaluable gift of quality sleep with everyone.

What is the book about?

‘Hello Sleep’ is a book penned by Dr. Jade Wu, a seasoned sleep specialist who has dedicated years to helping patients conquer insomnia. This book serves as a practical guide for insomniacs, providing step-by-step instructions to escape the clutches of sleeplessness, while also offering accessible insights into the scientific research supporting a fresh perspective on our relationship with sleep. Dr. Wu firmly believes that by reevaluating our waking hours, we can unlock the key to restful slumber, all without relying on medications.

The book is divided into four sections, each offering a systematic approach to improving sleep. From ‘Get to Know Your Sleep’ to ‘The Big Reset,’ ‘Going Deeper Into The Relationship,’ and ‘Changes and Challenges In Your Relationship with Sleep,’ the chapters are designed to be comprehended easily, featuring helpful diagrams, checklists, and engaging subsections. To conclude each chapter, a concise summary called ‘Bottom Line’ captures the main takeaways.

In addressing various treatments for insomnia, including prescription drugs, ‘Hello Sleep’ takes a cautious approach. The book offers clear insights into the side effects and possible interactions associated with medications, providing readers with easily understandable research studies. Chapter 10, titled ‘Trusting Sleep: How to Get Off Sleep Medications,’ tackles common questions about insomnia drugs, offering a thoughtful assessment of risks and benefits, as well as guidance on gradually reducing medication use.

Dr. Wu emphasises that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to insomnia and underscores that ‘Hello Sleep’ is a comprehensive program requiring readers to absorb the entire book to tailor the strategies to their needs. While acknowledging the wealth of resources available online and in print for insomnia treatment, the book provides a behavioural science framework that empowers readers to understand and improve their relationship with sleep.

Table of contents

  • Title Page
  • Copyright Notice
  • Dedication
More…
  • Contents
  • Prologue: Sleep Is a Friend, Not an Engineering Problem
  • PART I: Get to Know Your Sleep
  • 1. What Does Healthy Sleep Look Like?
  • 2. What Is Insomnia and How Did I Get It?
  • 3. Getting Ready for Your Hello Sleep Journey
  • PART II: The Big Reset
  • 4. The Empty Piggy Bank: Why You Can’t Fall (or Stay) Asleep
  • 5. The Drooling Dog: Why Your Brain Turns “On” at Night
  • 6. Let There Be Light: The Real Answers to Fatigue (Hint: It’s Not More Sleep)
  • 7. The Mental Litter Box and Other Daytime Skills for Quieting a Racing Mind at Night
  • PART III: Going Deeper into the Relationship
  • 8. The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: How Your Thoughts About Insomnia Feed Insomnia
  • 9. Just Sleep, Dammit! Why Insomnia Thrives on Sleep Effort and How to Let It Go
  • 10. Trusting Sleep: How to Get Off Sleep Medications
  • 11. Tying Up Loose Ends: The Facts on Screens, Coffee, and Other Sleep Hygiene Topics
  • 12. Looking Back, Planning Ahead: How to Maintain Your Gains, Get Through Rough Patches, and Keep a Lifelong Healthy Relationship with Sleep
  • PART IV: Changes and Challenges in Your Relationship with Sleep
  • 13. Hello Hormones! Sleep During Pregnancy, Postpartum, and Menopause
  • 14. The Golden Years: How Will Sleep Change as You Get Older?
  • 15. Other Medical and Psychiatric Conditions That Affect Sleep
  • 16. Other Sleep Hurdles: When Insomnia Is Not the Only Sleep Disorder You Have
  • Parting Words
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Appendix
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • About the Author
  • Copyright

Key takeaways from ‘Hello Sleep’

1Exposure to light can affect sleep quality

The use of screens in the evening can affect sleep due to the impact of bright light on melatonin release. The brain’s circadian clock uses light as a signal for sleep and wakefulness, and excessive evening screen use can disrupt this process. Studies have shown that increased screen exposure in the evenings is associated with poorer sleep quality and daytime functioning. However, the effects of evening light exposure can be mitigated by getting sufficient bright light during the day, using blue light-blocking glasses, and engaging in fulfilling activities before bed. It’s important to find a balance between screen use and non-media activities, considering personal preferences and content that adds to overall well-being.

2You should be flexible and forgiving rather than overbearing when it comes to sleep

The book promotes building healthy relationships with your sleep. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, and it’s important to be flexible and forgiving instead of fixating on imperfections. This mindset is especially crucial for maintaining a healthy relationship with sleep, particularly for those prone to insomnia. Letting go of perfectionism and rigid expectations is key. Avoid researching sleep improvement excessively, as it can lead to misinformation and unnecessary sleep effort. Don’t plan your life solely around sleep, as occasional disruptions won’t significantly impact your overall sleep health. Avoid spending excessive money on sleep-related products or gadgets, as they can create unrealistic expectations. Let go of sleep-tracking gadgets and trust your own sleep patterns. Most importantly, don’t try to force yourself to fall asleep; if sleep eludes you, engage in enjoyable activities instead of persistently pursuing sleep.

3By calming down the ‘racing mind,’ we can alleviate insomnia

When insomnia is accompanied by a ‘racing mind,’ it makes it even more exhausting and frustrating. However, there are steps you can take to quiet your mind. Firstly, make changes during the day to give your thoughts attention. This includes allowing your brain to process thoughts, ensuring adequate daytime rest, and having a proper wind-down routine before bedtime. To address racing thoughts, you have several options. Keeping a journal can help you unload your stream of consciousness without worrying about the quality of your writing. Engaging in solo prayer provides an opportunity for honest reflection. Taking long walks allows your mind to wander along with your feet, and you can even think out loud as you walk. Lastly, creating a mental litter box can be helpful for those prone to worry or rumination, giving your mind a designated time and space to address concerns.

Strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews

Strengths

  • Thoroughly researched and evidence-based, debunking common misconceptions about sleep.

  • Clear, engaging, and accessible writing style, making complex concepts easy to understand.

  • Well-organised structure, with each chapter focusing on specific aspects of sleep and providing practical guidance.

  • Empathetic and non-judgmental approach, acknowledging individual differences in sleep needs and offering reassurance.

  • A practical and helpful guide for tackling insomnia, providing effective strategies.

Weaknesses

  • Certain insights and recommendations were obvious or common knowledge.

  • Not comprehensive enough in addressing specific sleep challenges, such as sleep difficulties during pregnancy or among older individuals.

  • The inclusion of a ‘Hello Sleep Plan’ primarily tailored to the author’s private clients may not fully cater to the general readership.

Best quotes from ‘Hello Sleep’

"Sleep hygiene is the placebo condition in many insomnia clinical trials because we know that it does not work for insomnia.” 
"There is a crucial difference between tired and sleepy. Feeling TIRED means feeling worn out, depleted, exhausted, bored, low energy, 'done with the day'... it's your body and mind asking for rest, rejuvenation, or sometimes, just a change of scenery. In moments like these, the cure may be a nice stretch, a comforting cup of tea, or a walk in the park. Feeling SLEEPY means you're close to falling asleep. That's it. If your eyes are drooping and your head is involuntarily nodding, or you've been missing plot points in the movie you're watching... you are sleepy. In this case, the cure is to sleep." 
"A healthy sleep efficiency is usually between 85 % and 95 %. This means that the vast majority of the time you're in bed, you're sleeping.”

Final takeaway

For those who find themselves scuffling from insomnia, ‘Hello Sleep’ proves to be an invaluable resource, offering a holistic and personalised approach to finding long-term solutions. It encourages readers to consider the broader picture and make informed decisions about their sleep health, empowering them to regain control of their slumber. Dr. Jade Wu provides practical insights and actionable strategies to enhance the quality of sleep.

With its comprehensive guidance, this book serves as a compassionate guide to combating insomnia, offering a welcomed resource for readers struggling to get enough quality sleep.

Where to buy

You may purchase ‘Hello Sleep’ on Amazon at the best price. It is available in Kindle, audio, paperback and hardcover versions, so you are free to choose the format that suits you best.


Healthypedia FAQ

Yes, 'Hello Sleep' takes a cautious approach when discussing sleep medication. It provides clear insights into the potential side effects and interactions associated with medications, giving readers the necessary information to make informed decisions. The book also offers guidance on gradually reducing medication use and exploring behavioural interventions as alternatives.

Absolutely! Dr. Jade Wu is a respected researcher in the field of behavioural sleep medicine. The strategies and recommendations in 'Hello Sleep' are grounded in scientific evidence and reflect the latest research findings. The book provides references to studies and research, ensuring that readers have access to reliable and validated information.

Definitely! While the book is particularly beneficial for individuals with insomnia, its practical guidance and insights can be applied by anyone experiencing occasional sleep difficulties. 'Hello Sleep' offers a wealth of information on sleep hygiene, behaviour changes, and creating a healthy sleep environment that can benefit individuals looking to improve their sleep quality, regardless of their specific sleep challenges.

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