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Steven Y Park, MD  
Male, 52
New York, NY

Specialties: Sleep-breathing disorders

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The Twilight Series & Sleep Deprivation: Be Warned!

Dec 30, 2008 - 27 comments
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twilight series

,

sleep deprivation

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stephenie meyer



One of the hottest new books is Stephenie Meyer’s series called The Twilight Saga. My sister-in-law gave my wife a copy of the first book in the series and for three straight days, she couldn’t put it down. She was going to bed about 1-2 hours later than her usual time, and when my wife is sleep-deprived, even a little bit, we all pay the price. Furthermore, she’s now 8 months pregnant!

Going to bed at a regular time, along with practicing good sleep hygiene (such as not watching TV or eating in bed) should be practiced by everyone. Of course things happen and you can’t always go to bed at a regular time, but choosing a particular book to read is one thing you have control over. Especially now that I’ve waned you.

Consecutive nights of even mild sleep deprivation have been shown to diminish memory, mental acuity, and reaction times, not to mention mood changes and irritability. Imagine if you went through all three of Ms. Meyer’s books. Depending on how quickly you can read, most women (since mostly women are reading these books) will probably lose anywhere from 1-2 hours of sleep on average for about 1-2 weeks. In our already sleep-deprived, stressed-out society, additional sleep deprivation is the last thing we need.

I rarely put my foot down on any issue with my wife, but on this issue, I insisted that she stop reading further books in the series.

Are you currently reading one of Stephenie Meyer’s books, and if so, how much sleep are you losing?

Steven Y. Park, MD
www.doctorstevenpark.com

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Avatar universal
by Haddock_Entrap_Propulasion , Dec 31, 2008
You know, it is possible to read at times that don't interfere with sleep.  On the bus, for example, or while eating lunch.  

Avatar universal
by worried009, Dec 31, 2008
My daughter changed after reading the Twilight series. We are having a lot of problems. She does not even want me to hang out with her anymore. We use to be so close and, we do have other issues right now but, something is very wrong with her after reading Stephenie Meyer's books.


woried mom

Avatar universal
by AlessandrasMom, Dec 31, 2008
I did lose sleep while reading the Twilight series.  I could not put the 4 books down.  I read all four books in a week, reading mostly at night since I work during the day.  The worst thing is, is that now I can't read anything else because I feel the series was so good, I am having trouble finding books that good.  I did also notice that after reading these books I was quite irritable, and I don't think it had much to do with the sleep deprivation, but I don't know what else to attribute that to.  I am an avid reader and I am surprised at myself that I cannot go on to another book at this time.
I must also add that I was very surprised to see this post about this series.  I will be checking back frequently to see how others felt after reading the series.  Thank you!

Avatar universal
by sambogeezy, Dec 31, 2008
I have read the entire series so many times that I have the books practically memorized! I had trouble even sleeping after closing the books for the night. I am also an avid reader and have found the books to be addictive. I can't imagine why.....  Any way I have committed myself to putting them down for a while.

Avatar universal
by Liz4914, Dec 31, 2008
What is it about these books!  My daughter went crazy over them and purchased the whole series.  I started on the first one and had to leave it at her house almost finished when I left to come home - now I am going to have to go out and buy it so I can finish it and hopefully get hold of the rest of the series.  These books are supposedly for teens but I could not put it down - my daughter and I laughed about being addicted to them!  I stayed up late and got up early to read! :-)

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by flyaway24, Dec 31, 2008
First off, I'd like to say that the Twilight Series IS a really great. And I have to agree with the first post about that you you don't HAVE to read when you are supposed to be sleeping; that would be your personal choice, and if you're a sensible person, you'd turn out the lights. Is it really so much a crime to find a really good book these days? People have to find problems in EVERYTHING this day and age don't they? So, if you don't want to get sleep deprived, all you just have to put down the book and go to bed. Stephenie Meyer isn't MAKING you read the books. There. End of story.

-Kate

P.S. I'm sorry, I just realized how harsh this sounded, but I just strongly disagree with the Doc. I don't usually get this way. Have a very Happy New Year!  :)

Avatar universal
by UncleGrieg, Jan 01, 2009
I hate the series, but not for that reason. o.0 I respect those who like it, however, so it's just opinion!
Anyway, I don't think the series itself is to blame. I myself have found myself reading at night, and getting caught up to the point of losing sleep. (I'm writing a novel, and actually spent till 8 am the other night writing). It's unhealthy, I know, and could probably cause stress among other things.
Best option, as previously posted, is to simply try to get reading time in during a better hour, so that there's not problems with sleep.

Avatar universal
by Steven Y Park, MDBlank, Jan 01, 2009
I agree that there are some people who have the self-discipline to set a time to stop reading a book, no matter how good it is. My wife is normally one of them. She's an avid reader, and has a structured reading schedule. But for some reason with the first Twilight book, she stayed up hours after her normal sleep time repeatedly. There are also other people who are impulsive and have no self-control. Everyone's different.

The point of my post was not to implicate some kind of conspiracy theory about Ms. Meyer's books. Sleep deprivation can be caused by anything from a good TV series to surfing the internet, or even another great book series. There's no doubt that Ms. Meyer is a talented writer. I wanted to emphasize the importance of setting a regular sleep time, arranging your other activities around your sleep schedule. It seems that in our society, if pressed for time, sleep is the first thing to go.

Avatar universal
by laurab2818, Jan 01, 2009
I rarely put my foot down on any issue with my wife, but on this issue, I insisted that she stop reading further books in the series.


No offense, but this seems a bit controlling.

Avatar universal
by Steven Y Park, MDBlank, Jan 01, 2009
laurab2818,

"putting my foot down" is a figure of speech. I simply pointed out to my wife how much sleep she was losing, especially in light of the fact that she's already sleep deprived form being 8 months pregnant. It may have been a strong suggestion, but never controlling. She agreed with me. Maybe I should have used a different phrase. I wanted to emphasize the point that this is an important issue to consider.

Avatar universal
by Norris01, Jan 01, 2009
I work for a national bookstore and I had to read The Twilight Saga for a release party that we were having for Breaking Dawn, So I started with Twilight & read it within 2 days, needless to say I read the other books within a week, I have a full time job as well as 3 kids,4 cats & a husband who did become annoyed a bit at the overwhelming obsession that followed starting Twilight.But knowing how much I loved it...There is no way  he could be selfish enough to make it about him!  As far as my 15 year old daughter....let me tell  you how this book has brought us together. She was a freshman in highschool when she started reading it, she was failing her classes & following the wrong group of people. Once she started with Stephenie Meyers books...it was a whole new story! She always has a book in her hand. She chose to read during all of her free time, not exactly what her friends were doing & they moved on. She continued to read it several time to the delight of her teachers & Volleyball coach. They all say she is a whole new person! She is making honors AND we are so close because we found that one thing that we agree on and can enjy together.. It is not for everyone, I get that. But in a day & age when video games & TV dominate everything.... Seeing kids (and adults) so engaged in reading makes any iritablity worth it!

Avatar universal
by ncssmom2010, Jan 01, 2009
My 11 year old daughter was very interested in reading the book. Because of her age, I wanted to read it first. I found myself obsessed with the story and finished it within 2 days. Once I finished, I found myself wanting to read the rest. If anything, I made sure that all my obligations were taken care of for the day and read whenever I got the chance. Yes, even at night when I should have been sleeping. However, I am an adult and know what the consequences would be if I chose to stay up an extra hour and it was my decision to choose.  I finished the series within a week and got it out of my system. If anything, I got my work done more quickly and I proved to myself there is time in the day for me to enjoy as well.  Needless to say, my daughter read the first one and loved it. My husband wanted to know what the big deal was and before I knew it, he was just like me, obsessed and finished the series within four days. Again, this was after completing any obligations he may of had for the day. He loved it and it allowed him to share  and discuss the story with his daughter too. Dr. Park, have you read the story so that you could share in what your wife was so interested in? With a baby on the way, you may find out that your time to talk and share will be limited!

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by suzipen, Jan 01, 2009
Wow! This is interesting! My husband bought the first book for me for Christmas, and now I cant wait to read it.
He also got "Marley and Me", and I dont know which to start first.
I will read at night, because my kids will be sleeping, and that is the easiest time for me.

Interesting posts!

Avatar universal
by Billy0_0, Jan 01, 2009
I think I was suggested that she read at times that don't interfere with sleep are a good way of going about things. If you can try and figure out a rota that gives her some extra reading time

It's ironic that I'm posting on a thread about sleep deprivation at 3:20 in the morning  

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by HelpinUtah, Jan 02, 2009
I loved the series!  I read it within a week!  For me, it made me happy.  I felt it was a delightful story.  I agree though that I would stay up reading into the wee hours - but it was so worth it for me!  LOL!!!  I saw the first movie and now can't wait for the rest of them!!!  

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by Griggsy, Jan 02, 2009
My husband and I loved the series. We carpool together to and from work so on the drives we would read.  I read the entire series outloud to him along with many other books.  I don't know about reading the entire series in a week, as that does eat away a lot of time. Time passes so fast when you are reading a good book. 20 pages turnes out to be 30 minutes or more of reading.

I think book reading in general causes sleep deprivation. Your eyes are doing all the work, and that makes them even more heavy and tired than just normal activity, so adding lack of sleep to the list isn't a good thing.

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by ngio64, Jan 03, 2009
I love reading out loud to DH and vice versa on long trips. We have fond memories of the books we have read together. It makes the miles fly by. lately we get books on tape, but it is not the same.

Avatar universal
by BEEN72, Jan 06, 2009
I was sick in bed when I got the first book.  I read it in two days.  LOVED IT!  It brought back feelings that I forgot about.  I am a stay at home mom with three kids.  These books made me realize how much fun it is to be in love.  It brought back great memories and it made me realize I need to focus on my husband and I a little more.  These books are harmless.  I think woman love these books so much because it is about falling in love and staying in love.  A love so strong you would die for it.  

Plus, for all the moms that are worried about their daughters reading it you have nothing to fret about.  The writer chose to have the main character wait to have sex until she is married.  I think the books send a great message.  

I recommend these books to everyone!  

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by LimeIio, Jan 16, 2009
I often read books when I just cannot sleep. I don't really think I have insmonia,it's more that I have really bad anxiety,espcially at night. Books and stories help ease the thoughts that make me anxious or scared and give me panic attacks. The Twilight Saga was one of them,though,haha,i read the the first and sequels the years they were published.So I didnt really do much staying  up late. I do think it's quite amazing that you actually have a blog relating Twilight to sleep deprivation. BUt I do have friends who rread the whole series in 3 days flat!

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by alagirl, Feb 20, 2009
I rarely put my foot down on any issue with my wife, but on this issue, I insisted that she stop reading further books in the series.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So she's got to sneak the books now?  Kind of like a closet smoker? lol ;)

264121 tn?1313033056
by alagirl, Feb 20, 2009
I rarely put my foot down on any issue with my wife, but on this issue, I insisted that she stop reading further books in the series.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So she's got to sneak the books now?  Kind of like a closet smoker? lol ;)

264121 tn?1313033056
by alagirl, Feb 20, 2009
I rarely put my foot down on any issue with my wife, but on this issue, I insisted that she stop reading further books in the series.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So she's got to sneak the books now?  Kind of like a closet smoker? lol ;)

264121 tn?1313033056
by alagirl, Feb 20, 2009
Sorry about that, computer glitch.

Avatar universal
by Twyfyer, Mar 23, 2009
I have read the first three books and have to say I loved them with one exception....DEPRESSION. I have sunk into a deep depression for what seems like no reason at all. I just want to crawl in bed and read the forth book. I want to cry for no apparent reason. Is it that my life seeks the passion that is in these books? I am in my late 40's which should make everything in my being tell myself that I am nuts to feel this way. I look at my husband and wonder why I couldn't have a man that feels about me like this fictional character, Edward, feels about Bella. What the heck is wrong with me? Will this feeling end? Will the forth book get me through this? I can only hope.

Avatar universal
by jlhcah, Mar 27, 2009
Dear Twyfyer, I am in the same boat you are - i have been non stop crying and even had to stay home from work for a week and had to be put on xanax in order to cope. before i read all 4 books, my life was fine, i had no issues, and i cannot figure out for the life of me what brought this on except for reading book 2 (i saw the movie a long time ago and it didnt effect me what so ever), so i am thinking that maybe the gut wrenching break up in book 2 started my spiral downward. please let me know if you have found any help as i am desperate!

Avatar universal
by shocked09, May 05, 2009
I am so glad that someone is addressing this.  Once I started on the series I have not been able to put the books down.  I am up every night until after 3am (my normal bedtime is midnight) and I still can’t sleep.  When I wake up at the crack of dawn it’s because the story comes flooding back and consumes my thoughts.  I’m restless and anxious all day.  I have trouble concentrating on anything other than the story.  My appetite has decreased and I am really anxious all the time - I just chain smoke.  I spend all of my free time with my nose buried in those books.  And the depression you all speak about…the same for me!  It started once I began book 2 and I was able to feel the pain of the characters.  It sends me into a downward spiral questioning my own life and its lack of excitement and love which is so prevalent in the book.  It still shocks me that a book can have such an impact on my daily life.  I hope it goes away once I finish reading them…

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by 29sillygirl, Dec 06, 2009
Myers captured alot of readers with this series.  Movies are doing well.  Twilight breaking box office records.
Vamp stories are one of my secret pleasures.....Anne Rice was favorite...then discovered other authors..
Alan Ball has put the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries into a TV series, True Blood.

Re no control when reading.  It happens to me when the writing is superb....last book I couldn't put down was Pat Conroy's South of Broad. Whew...elegant.

To the depression....books and movies affect us differently.  Generally, books are a more intimate experience.
Maybe that and subject matter is the reason.  Hard to say.
Re: sleep.  DVDs will keep me awake faster than a book.  Something about the brightness..so visual.

Sweet dreams,
Ann...retired librarian

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