The Woman’s Book of Sleep
Amy R. Wolfson
Did you know that most people who suffer from sleep disorders are woman older than 35?
Until recently, most sleep research was conducted on male university students between the ages of 18 and 23. When female participants were involved in the studies, they were mostly treated the same as their male counterparts. However, women are subject to a much wider range of hormonal cycles which impact many of their body systems and behaviors. Sleep is one of those systems.
After a brief introduction to sleep, the author focuses on specific aspects of women's sleep and sleeping patterns in the context of their hormonal lives: the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum months, combining motherhood with work and of course menopause. This is one of only a few books that actually meets a huge demand for information and advice specifically aimed at women on how to deal with sleep disorders.
The book also includes a refreshing look at sleep and emotional well-being. Sleep disorders can often be a symptom for other underlying issues and the book dedicates a whole chapter to list the problems that may be hidden by sleep. This chapter would be very useful for women as a basis for discussion with their medical care givers. Menopausal woman suffering from sleep problems can also find a dedicated chapter that discusses their specific needs.
I liked the detailed review of the link between the hormonal system and its cycles and its impact on a woman's body. This was important for me as a sleep coach as it provides me with material to work with women around educating them on their body, their hormonal system and the way they experience that system. By understanding the facts they can create a new picture in their mind and form a new narrative that could be more useful for them.
The book flows smoothly and gives the reader information that is easily understood and can use to take steps to improve their sleeping habits. The book is informative and builds general knowledge on the topic of sleep. The Appendix includes some practical material to evaluate the readers' sleep patterns and provides guidance on using relaxation techniques. The book's information can help readers with minor sleep issues, however, for more serious issues people would still need to see sleep professionals including sleep coaches.
The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide
Robert and Mary Lou Heiss
The Story of Tea opens with A Brief History of Tea. It's a topic that could probably fill several thick volumes, but the authors put forth a nice summary in a mere 28 pages. I was especially intrigued by their account of the Boston Tea Party, which was more informative than those found in most other tea histories. Chapter Two, The Life of a Tea Bush, takes a close look at the variations of Camellia sinensis, the plant that produces such a whopping number of tea varieties. The book really hits its stride in Chapter Three, which delves into the ever so critical manufacturing process that takes a tea leaf (and/or bud) and turns it into something we can ingest.I've read bits and pieces of this information countless times, but the Heiss's pull it all together into one of the most in-depth discussions of tea manufacturing (at least in layperson's terms) that I've encountered. This chapter alone would have been worth the price of the book - if I'd had to pay for it, that is.Especially impressive - not surprisingly - are the sections on Chinese Tea, both in this chapter and the next, Journeying Along the Tea Trail. The latter also covers tea in Japan, Korea, India, Russia/Georgia, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Indonesia, Nepal, Africa, and Vietnam.The next chapter - The Encyclopedia of Tea - was interesting enough, but the book wouldn't really have suffered by its absence. An overview of some of the more popular teas, it almost seems redundant, in light of what was covered in the previous chapters. Brewing the Perfect cup looks at all of the many factors that must be in place to summon forth this elusive creature, from purchasing tea to teaware to the actual preparation and more. Tea Customs and Culture devotes a large chunk of its running time to China's Gongfu tea preparation style, as well as Japan's Chanoyu, more commonly known as the Japanese tea ceremony. It also looks at tea cultures in Europe, the United States (a slim section), Russia, Tibet, and Morocco.Chapter Eight takes on the issue of tea's much touted health benefits and concludes that...well, many of the studies are not quite conclusive. Also touched on here are the assorted and sundry myths that have sprung up over the years regarding tea's caffeine content.From there, it's a chapter on Ethics in the Tea Trade (organic, Fair Trade). Things come to a close with a small, but interesting, selection of tea recipes. Savory Chinese Marbled Eggs, anyone? How about a White Tea Snow Sorbet?Whether you're new to the world of tea or an old hand, you're likely to find something of interest in this well-researched and entertainingly presented book.Workouts For Women: Weight Training
Author, Joni Hyde offers a new concept that promises visible results in just two weeks. Accomplished in 12-minute total body sculpting workouts, the program is designed especially for women because women gain, store, and burn fat differently than do men.
Combines aerobic exercise and strength training into one efficient workout intended to help readers lose fat, reduce appearance of cellulite, and firm hips, thighs, butt, abdomen and the back of the arm. There's a bonus. The strength training component builds lean muscle mass which burns 45 more calories per day than the same amount of body fat.
Each of the program's circuits focus on a specific muscle group. As you progress, additional circuits can be incorporated into each sculpting workout. Ten circuits in all, plus a stretch routine for warmups. Supplemental features include a healthy eating plan, as well as a workout log and food journal for monitoring progress.
Readers will learn ways to incorporate exercise into their daily lifestyle routine such as making a "fitness appointment" with yourself. The section on planning your workout compares the benefits between morning, afternoon, and evening workout schedules. This valuable information is often left out of exercise guides. Not here, proving the author is well-grounded in all aspects of exercise theory. Finally, excellent illustrations of each component and level of exercise benefiting both beginners and veterans alike.