Book Review: Fast Asleep By Dr Michael Mosley

Written by Guest Reviewer on Wednesday, 22 July 2020.
Tagged: book review, diet, fasting, healthy eating, nutrition, recipes, review, sleep

Book Review: Fast Asleep By Dr Michael Mosley

Subtitled, “How to get a really good night’s rest” Dr Michael Mosley’s latest book, Fast Asleep, promises to help you “improve brain function, reduce sugar cravings and boost your mood”. Does it deliver?

Michael Mosley, confesses to being “obsessed by sleep… on a deeply personal level”. Having suffered from insomnia intermittently for over 20 years, he was keen to find out what, if anything, could be done to help him get to sleep and stay asleep once he was there.

If you’ve read any of his earlier books or seen his TV shows, you won’t be surprised to learn that he has offered himself up as a guinea pig having spent “many nights in sleep labs with electrodes attached” to his body and taken drugs to put him to sleep or keep him awake.

Why sleep can be a problem

Some of us get less sleep than we should because our internal clocks don’t accord with our lifestyle clocks. That is, we may be “owls”, going to bed late, but having jobs that require us to get up with the lark in order to brave a long commute and get into work early. Or we may be shift workers whose lives get turned upside down every few days or every other week.

Back coverThere are many other reasons we may not get optimum sleep, from jet lag to having a new baby, to growing older and being less active. Whatever the reason, we need to address our issues and try to improve our sleep efficiency because not getting enough sleep can increase our risk of becoming obese, developing Type 2 diabetes, dementia and high blood pressure. Not to mention causing mood problems and reduced libido.

What does this book offer?

Michael Mosley’s book starts by detailing the science of sleep. He explains some of the research and what its implications are. The second part of the book is dedicated to helping the reader get a better night’s sleep. Dr Mosley offers several strategies including resetting your body clock through sleep restriction and time restricted eating (the Fast part of Fast Asleep). He also provides a sleep program which encompasses diet (including recipes by his wife Dr Claire Bailey), keeping a sleep diary, and developing good sleep hygiene habits. 


What did I think of this book?

I was really interested to read this book and put in a pre-publication order so I could get it as soon as it was published. I have always enjoyed Dr Mosley’s other books and as, from time to time, I have suffered sleep problems myself I was keen to see what he would advise.

I’m afraid I was a little disappointed. It seemed to be somehow less well organised than his previous books and I found myself forcing myself to read it. It is full of useful information but I felt I really had to plough through unnecessary stories in order to get at the heart of the matter.

The bottom line

A useful book if you suffer from insomnia. It may help you understand why you have difficulty falling and/or staying asleep and it may also offer you some strategies to overcome your particular difficulty using diet, time restricted eating and good sleep hygiene but you will have to wade through some waffle to find it.

Available from The Book Depository at a discounted price and with free postage. 

Thanks to Munaiba Khan, a retired naturopath with an interest in nutrition, for this book review.