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Doc Orman's Sleep Book

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    This morning I received Matt’s email in which he touts his interview with Doc Orman M.D., who claims expertise on the subject of stress. I immediately went to Orman’s website at

    On his site Orman offers a free report (“How to be Happier, Healthier and More Stress Free”) that you may obtain if you subscribe to his site. You know this Internet strategy. It’s a teaser to get your email address. Nothing wrong with that. I am a sucker for these things. I must have every one on weightlifting and fitness that exists. I have come to expect a lot of filler in this type of material, but usually they contains something of worth. I cannot say that of Doc Orman’s “How to be Happier..”. In my opinion, it contains nothing but pablum.

    Nonetheless, given Matt’s implicit recommendation of Dr. Orman, I maintained an open mind. While browsing Orman’s site, I noticed that he offered an book on insomnia, “How to Fall Asleep Fast, Stay Asleep Longer, And Get Better Sleep Like You Did In The Past”. Now this interested me because I have had insomnia since my early twenties. I purchased the book in hopes of learning something new.

    Having read the whole book (it’s only 48 pages and that includes Orman’s biography at the end of the PDF), it contains little more than the advice you might get from an article you read on Yahoo News or Huffington Post. You know, practice good sleep hygiene: don’t drink caffeine to keep yourself awake or drink alcohol to fall asleep, go to bed when you’re sleepy, etc.

    He mentions that sleep problems might be caused by the circadian rhythm being out of whack, however, he doesn’t really tell us how to address the problem. For example, he doesn’t mention light therapy, an approach that has had some success and been the subject of some scientific studes:

    Another piece of advice that he offers is to address problems directly, not to worry about falling asleep and to not form associations between our insomnia and our sleeping environment. As for dealing with our problems directly, he points us to his general book on stress: “The 14 Day Stress Cure”. He is right to advise us not to worry about our sleep and not to form associations between our insomnia and our sleep environment, however, he doesn’t elaborate on strategies concerning these (after all, the book is only 48 pages long!). Of course, Doctor Orman’s advice here is based up Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I underwent a group course on CBT for sleep at the Stanford Sleep Center. For some people in our group CBT was a godsend. It completely resolved their sleep problems. For others, like me, it moderately improved our sleep. It is probably the most succesful protocol at present for treating insomnia. However, Doctor Orman doesn’t even mention it by name, and his book doesn’t explain it in any detail. If you don’t have the money or the possibility to explore CBT with an expert, there are excellent workbooks out there on the subject, like this one:’s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397843950&sr=1-1&keywords=the+insomnia+workbook

    Doc Orman’s advice to you if you’ve suffered insomnia for more than a few days: go see your doctor, maybe get a sleep study done! Thanks. Already tried that one and got prescribed trazadone. No thanks. A sleep study might be in order. At least that way you can rule out restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea….but this is nothing new.

    And that sums it up. It’s not that the information in Orman’s book is bad. It just doesn’t contain anything that you couldn’t get from a couple of articles that might come up if you googled “insomnia”. The good suggestions that it does contain are not elaborated upon (like CBT. Again I am really put off that Orman doesn’t EVEN reference Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, because he sure as hell didn’t invent this idea). And although not expensive ($10.00, for the PDF book), I could have got this information easily for free. I strongly recommend that you not buy this book. Save your money and buy the above book (or one like it) on CBT. Also, investigate Light therapy. I have to say that this book was so bad that I am doubtful that Orman has any enlightening advice on stress. I will put off obtaining any books on stress by this author until listening to his interview with Matt. I hope that I can get my money back on this book. Wish me luck in that endeavor.


    To his credit, Dr. Orman did promptly refund my money on request.

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