Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker

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The first sleep book by a leading scientific expert—Professor Matthew Walker, Director of UC Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab—reveals his groundbreaking exploration of sleep, explaining how we can harness its transformative power to change our lives for the better.

Sleep is one of the most important but least understood aspects of our life, wellness, and longevity. Until very recently, science had no answer to the question of why we sleep, or what good it served, or why we suffer such devastating health consequences when we don't sleep. Compared to the other basic drives in life—eating, drinking, and reproducing—the purpose of sleep remained elusive.

An explosion of scientific discoveries in the last twenty years has shed new light on this fundamental aspect of our lives. Now, preeminent neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker gives us a new understanding of the vital importance of sleep and dreaming. Within the brain, sleep enriches our ability to learn, memorize, and make logical decisions. It recalibrates our emotions, restocks our immune system, fine-tunes our metabolism, and regulates our appetite. Dreaming mollifies painful memories and creates a virtual reality space in which the brain melds past and present knowledge to inspire creativity.

Walker answers important questions about sleep: how do caffeine and alcohol affect sleep? What really happens during REM sleep? Why do our sleep patterns change across a lifetime? How do common sleep aids affect us and can they do long-term damage? Charting cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs, and synthesizing decades of research and clinical practice, Walker explains how we can harness sleep to improve learning, mood, and energy levels; regulate hormones; prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes; slow the effects of aging; increase longevity; enhance the education and lifespan of our children, and boost the efficiency, success, and productivity of our businesses. Clear-eyed, fascinating, and accessible, Why We Sleep is a crucial and illuminating book.

Title : Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1501144316
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 368 pages


Emily rated it ★★★★★

November 19, 2017

For once, I actually mean five stars in the sense of "everybody should read this book." This book is highly readable but contains stunning information I'd never seen anywhere else (and includes numerous references to serious primary literature). I was reminded (stay with me here) of ancient Egypti...

Clif rated it ★★★★☆

January 18, 2018

The less you sleep the shorter your life span will be. Do I have your attention yet? If so read this excerpt from the beginning of this book (p3-5), and you will understand why this book caught my attention. This book is divided into four parts. Part 1 defines the nature and types of sleep, des...

Lubinka rated it ★★★★★

December 05, 2017

Hands down, one of the best books I read this year (more like ever, to be honest). So, a miracle drug has been discovered. A revolutionary new treatment that makes you live longer. It enhances your memory, makes you more attractive. It keeps you slim and lowers food cravings. It protects you from...

Tamahome rated it ★★★★☆

November 02, 2017

Wordy but good content. I'm making sleep a bigger priority. p. 164: I was once fond of saying , “ Sleep is the third pillar of good health , alongside diet and exercise . ” I have changed my tune . Sleep is more than a pillar ; it is the foundation on which the other two health bastions sit . Take...

Liina rated it ★★★★★

January 03, 2018

People who sleep too little (less than 8 hours a night more or less regularly) are stupid, can't remember stuff, have a weak immune system, die younger, are a burden to the health care system and a threat to other people. Sufficient sleep is the single most important thing you can do for your hea...

Toni rated it ★★★★☆

January 02, 2018

I guess I'm not in the camp of seeing "groundbreaking" information in this book. Valuable information, definitely, but information it seems to me that I've read before. Yes, at least 30-40% (my guesstimate) of adults in industrialized countries do not get enough sleep, compared to other countries...

Prashanthini rated it ★★★★★

November 12, 2017

We all need 8 hours of sleep. Most of us know this fact but still sacrifice sleep because we do not know the extent of damage lack of sleep can do. Some of us think that they can fully function on 4-6 hours of sleep. A few of us may also think sleeping is for losers. We can sleep when we die. To...

Frieda rated it ★★★☆☆

January 16, 2018

I heard Walker on NPR and was promptly brought to hysterics over the danger of sleeping too little. I had a techy friend block the wifi on my home router from 8pm until morning, then I bought a data disabling add-on from my phone carrier for my cell phone to lock that too, and I began to measure...

Jenifer rated it ★★★★★

August 01, 2017

I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book is an excellent summary on (as the title clearly states) why we sleep. I don't know why I thought that what I learned in college (from my egregiously egotistic Sleep and Dreaming...

Rae rated it ★★★★☆

December 21, 2017

The author maintains that our sleep loss epidemic is the greatest public health challenge we face and that our lack of sleep is a slow form of self-euthanasia. As a woman who loves a good night's sleep and has always been annoyed by society's negative attitude toward "too much" sleep, this was mu...

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