Book Talk circle
Sharing the Covers: Every couple's guide to better sleep book cover
Perchance to Dream
by George Spencer
Tired but wired. That’s the woe facing too many couples. Psychologist Wendy Millman Troxel ’95 wants them to rest easy. “Sleep is vital for your own health and your relationship’s health,” says Troxel, one of the leading scientific authorities on sleep and couples. “We spend a third of our lives doing this activity with our partner, and we’re still learning so much about it.”

Seventy million Americans suffer from chronic poor sleep, insomnia being the most common disorder. One-third of adults say their own or their partner’s sleep problems have made a nightmare of their waking hours. Troxel, a senior behavioral and social scientist at the RAND Corporation, has been researching sleep and treating sleep disorders for the last 15 years.

Her new book, Sharing the Covers: Every Couple’s Guide to Better Sleep, crushes couples’ sleep myths. Does bedtime sex make sleep better? “The research is quite conflicted,” she says. Does sleeping in separate beds (what some call ‘sleep divorce’) signify a troubled marriage? “No, but how you come to that decision says a lot more about your relationship.” Is it true couples shouldn’t go to bed angry? She’s found a better way to frame it: “Don’t fight before bedtime.”

Troxel and her husband try to practice impeccable sleep hygiene, she says. Their uncluttered bedroom is smartphone free with dimmable lights. Her bed? A king-size hotel-brand with “supercomfortable” sheets, down pillows and a duvet.

Sharing the Covers: Every couple's guide to better sleep book cover
Wendy Millman Troxel headshot
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Wendy Millman Troxel ’95 is spreading the word on the science of sleep.
In spreading the word about the science of sleep, Troxel draws on her Bucknell double major in psychology and theatre. After Bucknell, she waited tables as a struggling actress, getting bit parts in Married With Children and Pacific Blue. She thinks her acting training served her well. “I’ve had more camera time as a Ph.D. than I ever did as an actress,” she says. Her TEDx talk on school start times got 2 million views, and she is regularly interviewed for top-tier media outlets about her research.

“Communicating science to people, real people, is one of my greatest strengths,” says Troxel. “I want to translate science into words people can understand, because sleep affects every aspect of our lives.”

Sharing the Covers: Every Couple’s Guide to Better Sleep. Wendy Millman Troxel ’95 (Hachette Go, 2021)
Alumni Books
Rebecca Frimenko Barone ’06
Race to the Bottom of the Earth: Surviving Antarctica (Henry Holt and Co., 2021)
This book for young readers chronicles two daring expeditions across Antarctica to the South Pole, the first in 1910, with Capt. Robert Scott vying with explorer Roald Amundsen. In 2018, Capt. Louis Rudd covered the same treacherous ground against athlete Colin O’Brady.

Dennis Gale ’64
The Misunderstood History of Gentrification: People, Planning, Preservation, and Urban Renewal, 1915-2020 (Temple University Press, 2021)
Gale’s book provides a recontextualization of American gentrification, planning and policymaking. He argues that gentrification must be understood as an urban phenomenon with historical roots in the very early 20th century. (See Page 64 for another perspective on Gale.)

Muyambi Muyambi ’01
The Magical Wooden Bicycle (Jomba Media, 2020)
Inspired by Muyambi’s childhood in Uganda, this story offers a new narrative about children growing up in rural Uganda. Proceeds support Cycle Connect (formerly Bicycles Against Poverty), a nonprofit founded by Bucknellians that purchases bicycles, oxen, plows and other items for rural Ugandan farmers.

Nancy Allen ’80
Grace (Atmosphere Press, 2021)
Grace investigates sexual politics and women’s tenuous relationships with power. The novel centers on Catherine Finley, who leaves her dream job and the heartbreak of a failed relationship to take a new position closer to her ailing father, Douglas. Memories reveal Douglas’ meaningful romance in the 1960s with Grace, a pioneer in the civil rights movement.

Photo: Diane Baldwin