Killing Osama Bin Laden and sleep science (recently read books)

No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden, by Mark Owen and Kevin Maurer: It beats me why this ended up on my book reading list. Probably I heard something about it that made it sound good. Not to take anything away from the dedicated, military professionals that serve our country in ways I never have or could, it really wasn’t. It wasn’t a total bust either. Only Chapter 9 to the end was directly about killing Osama Bin Laden, and I found some enjoyment in reading the tale. But the filler up to Chapter 9 did little for me. Your mileage may vary.

Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep, by David Randall: I probably didn’t need to read this one since I’m pretty well versed in the science of sleep. If you’re not, though, I recommend it. I was pleased to see some pages devoted to cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. I enjoyed learning about the intersection of professional (and Olympic) athletics and sleep science. A taste:

The Stanford researchers dug through twenty-five years of Monday night NFL games and flagged every time a West Coast team played an East Coast team. Then, in an inspired move, they compared the final scores for each game with the point spread developed by bookmakers in Vegas. The results were stunning. The West Coast teams dominated their East Coast opponents no matter where they played. A West Coast team won by 63 percent of the time, by an average of two touchdowns.

You’ll have to read the book to learn how sleep explains why West beats East, on average.


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