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APC Forum Resource Reviews November 2019

APC Forum, November 2019, Vol. 21 No. 7

Goodnight Mind: Turn off your Noisy Thoughts & Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Colleen E Canery & Rachel Manber (Oakland, CA: New Harbringer, 2013, 181 pages, soft cover, E-book, Audio book).
"Goodnight Mind" is a book of practical ideas, suggestions, and practices for people who suffer from insomnia due to an overactive mind at bedtime.  Though written by two psychologists, the book is practical and accessible to the layperson.  The authors utilize principles and practices of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), helping the reader apply them to attain more restful sleep. 

The authors discuss barriers which might get in the way of a person’s sleep such as a sleep drive that is not working correctly, anxiety, stress, thinking about not sleeping as well as others.  They then break these problems down to address them.  They provide suggestions and practices for habits which can help reduce insomnia and improve sleep.  These suggestions include waiting until you are tired to go to bed, a steady sleep schedule, mindfulness practices and others. The suggestions are broken down into small, usable sections which a person can start applying immediately without getting overwhelmed.  The practices are clear and concrete, which should help foster success for the user.  The authors are careful to remind the reader they are offering new habits and practices.  These are not intended to be a “quick fix” for insomnia; rather they are new patterns for a more successful sleep life. 

This book avoids suggesting medications or nutritional supplements as a way to fall asleep more easily.  The authors point out ways medications and supplements can interfere with good sleep hygiene.  Rather, the authors focus on helping the reader develop habits which will promote good sleep practice.

One limitation of this book is, although it alludes to professional studies, it does not cite any.  The authors only list three books under “references.”  Offering a complete reference list could have been more helpful.

This book is a good resource for anyone who struggles with falling asleep at night.  As such it can be useful for a pastoral care professional personally as well as a resource which might be suggested to people for whom pastoral care professionals provide care.  Ideas from the book can also be useful when working with patients who have difficulty sleeping. 

"Goodnight Mind" is a useful book which can be helpful to anyone who has difficulty falling asleep.

Reviewed by DG “Jay” Fulton MDiv MA BCC, Chaplain, University of Kentucky HealthCare, Lexington, KY.

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