Why we sleep

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4.6

THe new science of sleep and dreams

Title: Why we sleep

Author: Matthew Walker

Year: 2017

Summary: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.

User Reviews

Book cover for "Why we sleep" by author Matthew Walker
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Readability

4.0

Detail

5.0

Learnability

5.0

Topic accuracy

5.0

Real world application

4.0

Reviewer's comment:

One of the best books I have ever read. It is both Inspiring and terrifying and has changed forever how I view sleep and where it sits on my list of priorities in life. For a book that is full of scientific research, scientific description and research based results, Matthew Walker does an amazing job at keeping the stories light, insightful and easy to consume. Every page has an OMG moment, the only reason you want to put it down is so that you have time to process what you have just read. If there was one thing that could be improved (which probably requires a second book), is more elaborate and specific instructions on how to increase the quality of your sleep based on the various lifestyles that he touches on throughout the book (shift workers, students, athletes, adolescents, etc).

Pros

Every page has a valuable lesson

So eye opening and terrifying that it makes you take action

Backed up with up to date research

Broken into easy to understand stories and explanations.

Cons

It is very science based, which may make it difficult for people who aren't big science readers.

More instructions on how to improve sleep.

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