Excellent book. Very informative and useful. I have changed so many of my sleep habits and environment and I am sleeping and feeling so much better. Just changing lowering the temperature in the room has made a huge difference. Sleep deprivation is at epidemic proportions in our world and so many activities and decisions are being done and made from this place that it is truly scary for all of us. Matthew Walker has made a huge contribution in increasing the quality of all of our lives by helping us all learn how important a "good night's sleep" is. I would highly recommend this book for parents, teachers, students and book clubs to encourage discussions and support us all in valuing and obtaining enough sleep. (Which numerous studies show is about 8.5 hours per night or we severely compromise our immune systems over time.)
Why We Sleep : Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
Arrives by Thu, Oct 29
About This Item
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).
|Number of Pages|
Why We Sleep
|Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)|
8.38 x 5.50 x 0.80 Inches
Customer reviews & ratings
Excellent book. Very ...
This was an eye-openin...
This was an eye-opening book about how sleep, giving an overview of the scientific evidence on why our bodies need sleep. That chronic sleep deprivation could do as much--if not more--harm than smoking over our lifespans was terrifying...and that 6 hours a night qualified as chronic sleep deprivation was enough to make me try to go to bed early from now on. My only 'complaint' was that it didn't address at all the chronic sleep deprivation of parents, especially of mothers with babies. And it didn't discuss at all if there are any differential effects for women vs men. Perhaps there isn't enough evidence to report, but still. Nonetheless, it was an incredibly instructive (and terrifying!) book. Highly recommended.
A great book that comp...
A great book that completely changed the way I think about sleeping. The changes I've implemented for myself and my family have definitely improved our overall well-being. Definitely recommend everyone check it out, especially parents.
If like me youre a ch...
If like me you're a chronic insomniac, or if you're the parent of a young child or a carer or a shift worker, you may initially be put off by the tone of Why We Sleep. The author's premise is that we are, as a society and as individuals, joyfully squandering our sleep time with terrible consequences - which he outlines, at length. Still, I gave the book a chance and there is some interesting stuff in here. The health benefits of sleep for physical and mental health are so great that he suggests, not entirely frivolously, that the question should be not why do we sleep, but why do we wake up? We need NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep to file away everything we've learnt during the day, to process it and move it from short-term to long-term memory. This is why cramming the night before an exam won't work, because it's sleep that allows you to properly integrate and retain what you've learnt. I found what he said about REM sleep (where we dream) most interesting. This is where we make odd connections, have creative thoughts, gain a fresh perspective. Anyone involved in any kind of artistic project will know that feeling. You hit what seems like an insoluble problem, you go to bed and wake up the next morning with a solution that is not just feasible but feels inevitable. This applies as much in daily life - we talk about 'sleeping on' a decision all the time. He's a big fan of siestas (as am I) and talks about the genesis of the term 'power nap' which came from research on the optimum time for airline pilots to rest. It was found that a short sleep at the beginning of a long period of sleep deprivation (eg during a long-haul flight) was the most effective. The FAA decided to institute this as policy but rejected the suggested terms 'prophylactic napping' or 'planned napping' (the second was considered too managerial, the first, well you can guess). The trouble with the term 'power napping' is that it is now colloquially used to suggest a macho alternative to sleep, rather than a short-term expedient when a full-night's sleep isn't possible. The book covers the body clock and circadian rhythms and even sleep in other species. The author also shares exhaustive evidence on the dangers of sleep deprivation, both immediate - such as driving while tired - and long-term, through poor health outcomes. My slight qualm about the book is that the author is so evangelical about his position. You are left thinking that all the world's problems could be solved if only we all got a regular eight hours sleep. He cites lots of research backing up his case but a general reader has no context. It's a bit like watching a courtroom drama and being totally convinced by the prosecution's case but not getting to hear the defence. If you do have problems sleeping you are likely to be so frightened by this book that it will keep you awake at night. When was this golden age when everybody got their eight hours? How can we make the comparison? Maybe in past centuries people spent more time in bed (what he calls sleep opportunity) but unless you were wealthy you probably shared a room with several family members (and possibly other fauna). How much quality sleep would you have got in a room where a baby was teething or siblings were fighting or mice were scuttling? The bit I was really excited about getting to was the chapter on insomnia treatments but all the author offered (after much fanfare) was the old cognitive-behavioural chestnut, which among other things insists on no napping (despite his earlier waxing lyrical on the benefits) and, more seriously, no reading in bed. There's a lot in Why We Sleep and overall I found it an interesting and informative read, albeit one without a miracle cure at the end of it. * I received a copy of Why We Sleep from the publisher via Netgalley. A longer version of this review first appeared on my blog katevane.com/blog
Why We Sleep is a fasc...
Why We Sleep is a fascinating and compelling book about the science of sleep. Like most Americans, I am sleep deprived. But (also, like many Americans), before I read this book, I would have said that I don't need more sleep. I'm genetically designed to get by on 6 hours a night or less. After reading this book, my guess is that I'm just like everyone else and many aspects of my life would be significantly better if I got more sleep. From better memory retention to weight loss to higher integrity in the workplace, sleep, according to Dr. Walker, is a necessary component. There is a little bit of preaching in this book, but it is probably one of the books I read this year that will have an impact on my life. Definitely going to work on getting a better night's sleep!
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