Why We Sleep

Why We Sleep

Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

eBook - 2017
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"Why We Sleep is an important and fascinating book...Walker taught me a lot about this basic activity that every person on Earth needs. I suspect his book will do the same for you." —Bill Gates

A New York Times bestseller and international sensation, this "stimulating and important book" (Financial Times) is a fascinating dive into the purpose and power of slumber.
With two appearances on CBS This Morning and Fresh Air's most popular interview of 2017, Matthew Walker has made abundantly clear that sleep is one of the most important but least understood aspects of our life. 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 it is absent. Compared to the other basic drives in life—eating, drinking, and reproducing—the purpose of sleep remains more elusive.

Within the brain, sleep enriches a diversity of functions, including 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 creates a virtual reality space in which the brain melds past and present knowledge, inspiring creativity.

In this "compelling and utterly convincing" (The Sunday Times) book, preeminent neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker provides a revolutionary exploration of sleep, examining how it affects every aspect of our physical and mental well-being. Charting the most cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs, and marshalling his 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, and increase longevity. He also provides actionable steps towards getting a better night's sleep every night.

Clear-eyed, fascinating, and accessible, Why We Sleep is a crucial and illuminating book. Written with the precision of Atul Gawande, Andrew Solomon, and Sherwin Nuland, it is "recommended for night-table reading in the most pragmatic sense" (The New York Times Book Review).


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FPL_Annie Oct 29, 2020

It turns out, if you don't sleep, you will die!

Oct 22, 2020

This book is an engaging read on an important topic. However, it's not clear how strong the science is in support of some of Walker's key points because he doesn't provide many references. When he does provide a reference it's often to one or a few small studies or in non-representative populations, e.g. college undergrads. Walker's arguments mainly make intuitive sense and seem to be consistent with what one would expect science to support, e.g. caffeine is bad for sleep hygiene. Unfortunately, Walker generally doesn't always provide the evidence to solidly back his claims, especially on more esoteric matters. Still, this book is a thought-provoking and worthwhile read.

Sep 30, 2020

Why We Sleep is a book by Professor Matthew Walker, Director of UC Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab. As the title suggests the book explores why we sleep. This question is much more difficult to answer than one may think. In this book Matthew Walker answers the many questions you may have about sleep and also answers the questions you did not even know you wanted to ask. He covers the effects of alcohol and caffeine, the innumerable benefits of sleep and what actually happens when you sleep. Many people think sleeping for 8 hours a night is lazy and unproductive but in reality only getting 6 hours of sleep hinders almost everything, from memory to creativity to your ability to control emotions. I would recommend this book to everyone as the effects of such a simple thing are truly eye opening. I give Why We Sleep five out of five stars.
@Nessie of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Loganlib_Brad Sep 06, 2020

Really enjoyed this, covers a lot of interesting ground. Definitely gets you to think more seriously about getting a good nights sleep, but also throws light on how little we value good sleep as a society.

Aug 02, 2020

A friend highly recommended this book and, boy, was she spot on. This should be taught in school for sure. Part I This Thing Called Sleep was my favorite section. I found it very interesting and informative.

IndyPL_TimothyV Jun 30, 2020

Dr. Walker presents the results of research on sleep in a way that is both engaging and informative. The careful reader will emerge with a much more thorough awareness of how sleep impacts nearly every aspect of life.

Mar 08, 2020

My go to for information

Mar 03, 2020

I haven't finished it yet, but so far it's an excellent read. It's such good writing for an academic piece - very clear and easily understood language for the layperson. And the insights into sleep are almost unbelievable. My friend has read this three times and taken its instruction about sleep to heart, and after a year says his life has vastly improved. I'm looking foward to finishing it!

Dec 27, 2019

Great I want to know

Dec 11, 2019

Bill Gates top 5 of 2019

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Aug 02, 2020

A balanced diet and exercise are of vital importance, yes. But we now see sleep as the preeminent force in this health trinity. The physical and mental impairments caused by one night of bad sleep dwarf those caused by an equivalent absence of food or exercise.

Dec 20, 2017

Neuroscientist Matthew Walker, PhD, expands our knowledge and emotional connection to the sleep that occupies so much of our lives. He draws amazing pictures of the work our brain completes during different cycles of sleep, and as a passionate advocate of health, he makes recommendations about public policies that could protect us.


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