Review: Better Sleep, Happier Life by Dr. Venkata Buddharaju

Dr. Buddharaju, or Dr. Buddha, as his patients like to call him, has written this book to help people understand the basics of what helps with sleep. He also makes the connection between good sleep and a happier life because of reduced stress, weight gain, etc. that happens when we don’t sleep.

Why am I reviewing a sleep book on a therapy/self-help book site? Well, over the years I have had many clients who have depression and other mental ailments, and those conditions have vastly improved when they get better sleep. And conversely, just working on sleep alone can help improve mental conditions. I know for myself, I have very little emotional regulation if I do not get good sleep. Sleep comes up on a regular basis in my counseling sessions, and I always ask people about the quality of their sleep.

I personally did not really learn anything new in this book – mostly because I have had terrible insomnia and have a sleep apnea diagnosis, so I have spent many years researching ways to get better sleep. But a person who knows very little about this topic or “sleep hygiene” would benefit from the information in a really readable format. Even though I didn’t learn a lot, I would love to sit down and chat with Dr. Buddha because he just seems so cool!

In this book Dr. Buddha covers: Exercise and it’s positive effect on sleep, especially if done in the morning; Diet and how foods high in tryptophan (berries, nuts) can help you sleep and how caffeine and alcohol prevent sleep; Worry and Stress and how rumination and bad work/life balance negatively affects sleep; Light and how natural light rhythms help our sleep and bright artificial light prevents sleep; Music and it’s positive effects on sleep; and Nature, and how exposure to nature helps reduce stress and positively impacts sleep. He also goes over basic sleep hygiene, such as going to bed and waking at the same time every day, getting out of bed if you are tossing and turning and so forth.

The one thing that I did learn in this book is that strengthening your vocal cords by singing a lot helps you not snore as much and therefore helps you sleep! An excuse to sing at the top of your lungs!

Again, much of this is pretty common knowledge, at least in my world – but it’s a very accessible book to read and might be a good one to have on your shelf!

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