Sara Mednick—The Power of the Downstate: Recharge Your Life Using Your Body's Own Restorative Systems




Sara C. Mednick, Ph.D.
Hachette Go, April 19, 2022, $29.00
ISBN-10: 0306925796, ISBN-13: 978-0306925795

Mednick reports:

The Power of the Downstate is based on my research as a professor of cognitive neuroscience and director of the Sleep and Cognition Lab at the University of California, Irvine, along with research by other scientists, showing our human bodies work best when our internal systems are aligned and work together through the two parts of a natural rhythm that has existed for thousands of years. I call these interactive processes the Upstate and the Downstate.

The Upstate is when all of life’s activities that require energy, focus, action, and the mobilization of mental and physiological forces happen. It’s what makes living, living … but it’s also what drains our batteries. The Downstate is the time and space where restoration and recuperation from the rigmarole of living take place. My research demonstrates a connection between spending more time in the Downstate and warding off ill health effects normally associated with aging.

Sara Mednick, photo by Cece Canton

Sara Mednick, photo by Cece Canton

This book started like a lot of books do: I thought I was going to write about one thing and found myself writing about something else. I had originally pitched an idea for a women’s health book to my agent, Laura Nolan. I started writing up ideas each day, and as I was sending her those materials, I realized that the book that was emerging was larger. It was about everyone’s health, not only women’s health.

I worked with writer Leslie Goldman on the proposal and was lucky enough to have a few publishers interested in publishing the book. Hachette GO seemed like the best combination in terms of reach for readers and (let’s be honest!) money.

One thing I wish I had known ahead of time is the how much time I’d need to spend on publicity and social media. I am delighted to do interviews, and want to keep doing them, but I find myself nursing an unhealthy social media obsession. It goes against being in the Downstate in just about every way! I’m looking forward to not having to check Twitter as much in the coming months.

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April 25, 2022

Advance Copy

The path from idea to book may take myriad routes. The Advance Copy column, started in 2000 by NASW volunteer book editor Lynne Lamberg, features NASW authors telling the stories behind their books. Authors are asked to report how they got their idea, honed it into a proposal, found an agent and a publisher, funded and conducted their research, and organized their writing process. They also are asked to share what they wish they’d known when they started or would do differently next time, and what advice they can offer aspiring authors. Lamberg edits the authors’ answers to produce the Advance Copy reports.

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