Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Oct 3, 2017 - Science - 368 pages
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).
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
9
4 stars
9
3 stars
1
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nmarun - LibraryThing

The ill-effects of not getting enough sleep is proficiently explained in this book, describing psychological, physiological and behavioral impact. It talks about science of feeling sleep, roles played ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - sriram_shankar - LibraryThing

This is one of those books that alters some 'core' beliefs you may have held. There is no more pervasive 'core' belief we hold than the 'needlessness' of sleep. Through various studies, this book goes ... Read full review

Contents

To Sleep
Losing and Gaining
Time Dilation and What
Changes in Sleep Across the Life Span
The Benefits of Sleep
Sleep
Sleep Deprivation
REMSleep Dreaming
Dream Creativity and Dream Control
Part 4
Whats Stopping
Pills vs Therapy
What Medicine and Education Are Doing
A New Vision for Sleep in the TwentyFirst Century
To Sleep or Not to Sleep
Illustration Permissions

Dreaming as Overnight Therapy

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2017)

Matthew Walker is a professor of neuroscience and psychology at UC Berkeley, the Director of its Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab, and a former professor of psychiatry at Harvard University. He has published over 100 scientific studies and has appeared on 60 Minutes, Nova, BBC News, and NPR’s Science Friday. Why We Sleep is his first book.

Bibliographic information