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Sleep: It Does a Family Good, by Dr. Archibald D. Hart

The Book:

People today are sleep-deprived, and nowhere are the negative effects felt more acutely than in families. Most parents realize that their families aren’t getting enough sleep, though they likely don’t understand how serious the problem is and need help finding a solution. In this book, renowned psychologist and best-selling author Arch Hart explores why sleep is so important, what happens when family members are chronically sleep deprived, and how families can start developing healthy sleep habits.

The Author:
Archibald D. Hart of the Hart Institute, is a former dean of the School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary, trained as a clinical psychologist in his native South Africa. Dr. Hart is now retired from full-time teaching but continues to teach two courses in psychology, as well as in the doctor of ministry program. His physiological lab research continues to examine issues of stress, depression, and anxiety. He and his wife, Kathleen, are sought after by church groups around the world to speak and conduct workshops on marriage, stress management, emotions, divorce, the hazards of ministry, and sexual behavior. Dr. Hart has published 26 books, including Stressed or Depressed (written in 2005 with daughter Dr. Catherine Weber). Dr. Hart and his wife have three daughters, four grandsons, and three granddaughters.

My Thoughts:
Most of you know that I suffer from Sleep Apnea. I already had 10 years worth of study and knowledge tucked into my brain before I picked up this book. It corroborated everything I already knew. If you don’t have that ten years worth of knowledge and are suffering a sleep disorder, this book will catch you up quick.

Sleep is not a luxury. It is a necessary bodily function. Lack of sleep can rob one of mental creativity and stamina. Cutting one’s rest in order to get more done can actually result in less productivity. Without sleep one doesn’t work or think at optimum levels. And prolonging one’s sleeplessness for weeks, months and years can actually damage one’s brain and body.

In Sleep, It Does a Family Good, Hart describes sleep patterns, the results of disrupting them, and how to get them back to where they should be. One of the things I liked most about this book is that it didn’t stress a “one-size fits all” solution, but instead outlines procedures and strategies one can use to find his or her own optimal sleep quotient. Hart also clearly details several effective strategies for dealing with insomnia, excessive worry and other distractions that rob us of sleep. I highly recommend this book to anyone with sleep issues who wants practical advice on how to combat them.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. A search of the medical literature ( reveals exactly one publication by Archibald D. Hart – and that was a preliminary study on a subject unrelated to sleep. A similar search on William C. Dement, author of a similar (and decade-old) volume, The Promise of Sleep, lists 330 publications, including peer-reviewed scholarly studies, high-level reviews of the scientific literature, and articles in the popular press. I didn’t check all 330 references, so it’s possible that some of them were by some other “WC Dement”, but I checked enough to know that Dement’s number is far in excess of one.

    Those who wish to get their sleep information from a source closer to the horse’s mouth – and those who find themselves unwilling to support the underwriter of the Hart volume (Focus on the Family) – might consider The Promise of Sleep or other writings by WC Dement as an alternative.

    And yes, I suppose the good Doctor has heard every one of the possible jokes and snide remarks, a hundred times over.

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