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Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams Hardcover – Illustrated, October 1, 2017

4.7 out of 5 stars 15,094 ratings

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Popular Highlights in this book

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A thoughtful tour through the still dimly understood state of being asleep … Why We Sleep is a book on a mission. Walker is in love with sleep and wants us to fall in love with sleep, too. And it is urgent. He makes the argument, persuasively, that we are in the midst of a ‘silent sleep loss epidemic’ that poses ‘the greatest public health challenge we face in the 21st century’ … Why We Sleep mounts a persuasive, exuberant case for addressing our societal sleep deficit and for the virtues of sleep itself. It is recommended for night-table reading in the most pragmatic sense.”
New York Times Book Review

"The director of UC Berkeley's Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab explores the purpose of slumber. Understanding the 'why,' it turns out, just might help you with the 'how to.'"
People

"A neuroscientist has found a revolutionary way of being cleverer, more attractive, slimmer, happier, healthier and of warding off cancer — a good night’s shut-eye ... It’s probably a little too soon to tell you that Why We Sleep saved my life, but I can tell you that it’s been an eye-opener."
The Guardian

"This is a stimulating and important book which you should read in the knowledge that the author is, as he puts it, 'in love with everything that sleep is and does.' But please do not begin it just before bedtime."
Financial Times

"Fascinating ... Walker describes how our resting habits have changed throughout history; the connection between sleep, chronic disease, and life span; and why the pills and aids we use to sleep longer and deeper are actually making our nights worse. Most important, he gives us simple, actionable ways to get better rest—tonight."
Men's Journal

“Walker is a scientist but writes for the layperson, illustrating tricky concepts with easily grasped analogies. Of particular interest to business owners, educators, parents, and government officials, and anyone who has ever suffered from a poor night’s sleep.”
Library Journal, starred review

"Why We Sleep is simply a must-read. World-renowned neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker takes us on a fascinating and indispensable journey into the latest understandings of the science of sleep. And the book goes way beyond satisfying intellectual curiosity, as it explores the cognitive, health, safety and business consequences of compromising the quality and quantity of our sleep; insights that may change the way you live your life. In these super-charged, distracting times it is hard to think of a book that is more important to read than this one."
—Adam Gazzaley, co-author of The Distracted Mind, founder and executive director of Neuroscape, and Professor of Neurology, Physiology, and Psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco

“Most of us have no idea what we do with a third of our lives. In this lucid and engaging book, Matt Walker explains the new science that is rapidly solving this age-old mystery. Why We Sleep is a canny pleasure that will have you turning pages well past your bedtime.”
—Daniel Gilbert, professor of psychology at Harvard and author of Stumbling on Happiness

"In Why We Sleep, Dr. Matt Walker brilliantly illuminates the night, explaining how sleep can make us healthier, safer, smarter, and more productive. Clearly and definitively, he provides knowledge and strategies to overcome the life-threatening risks associated with our sleep-deprived society. Our universal need for sleep ensures that every reader will find value in Dr. Walker's insightful counsel."
—Mark R. Rosekind, Ph.D., former NHTSA Administrator, NTSB member, and NASA scientist

About the Author

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.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Scribner; 1st edition (October 1, 2017)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1501144316
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1501144318
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.2 pounds
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 15,094 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
15,094 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on October 8, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on October 7, 2017
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Top reviews from other countries

Anna
3.0 out of 5 stars Not helpful for insomniacs!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 7, 2018
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351 people found this helpful
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R. M. M.
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother unless you're a doctor
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 3, 2018
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146 people found this helpful
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Abhishek Debnath
5.0 out of 5 stars Trust Me, Don't Mess With Sleep
Reviewed in India on August 7, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Trust Me, Don't Mess With Sleep
Reviewed in India on August 7, 2019
Sleep is a mystery. And this book is a lifesaver.

For normal folks like you and me, and for doctors or scientists as well, sleep's been always a mysterious phenomena. We humans sleep (preferably) one third of our whole life. This is an enormous amount of time which demands some attention. Though historically the attention has not been allotted to sleep it deserves, academically or culturally.
If you read this book (and you should; whether you love or hate or enjoy or avoid or have problem with or have some queries on sleeping) you'd understand why the evolutionary process didn't eliminate sleep from our biological dictionary. Why, though seemingly unnecessary/time-wasting/futile/unproductive, we still need to get a good night's sleep to get a long list of physiological, biological, psychological benefits. And if you by any chance fail to get the necessary amount of sleep (voluntarily or otherwise), you're a big gambler who doesn't have the idea about the grave repercussions. (No kidding.)

This book will be beneficial to everybody except those smart dudes who have unwavering faith in some generic and prejudiced sayings like: "Six hours of sleep is enough for a functional adult" or "You'll have chance to sleep all you need when you're dead" or "Our great leader sleeps only four hours/day, hence I should do the same to be like him." etc.

Don't trust them for Kumbhkarna's sake. Don't mess with sleep.

Some curious takeaways from the book:
● Not only the starting phase of sleep is important, when you're going to wake up in the morning is equally significant too. If you get up earlier without fulfilling your sleep-quota, there will be consequences. Serious consequences.
● Melatonin doesn't make you feel drowsy; it just reminds your brain, "Time to go to bed, fella." Part of a whole set of timekeeping mechanism actually. The chemical substance which in fact pressurize your system to make you feel sleepy is named Adenosine.
● Dreaming makes you more visionary/creative/shrewd, really. And dreaming is not just some "commercial breaks" between slumber, it has serious impact on your mindset/thinking/worldview/self assessment and many things more.
● Homo sapiens is "biphasic" in case of sleep requirement. That is, we humans are biologically inclined to get sleep two times a day. Taking a siesta is not just a cultural phenomena in origin, but deeply biological. Dozing after lunchtime is absolutely human-like, nothing shameful if you think so.
● It's not mere practice that makes a person perfect. Practice, followed by a good night of sleep is what required for perfection. And the writer is serious about that.
● You can sleep as many hours trying to recover/make up the sleep that you've lost or skipped; but make no mistake, humans can never "sleep back"/rebound the sleep once lost.
● "Night owls" are real, not myth. As real as the "Morning larks" are. Don't bully them; or feel guilty of being one.
● Caffeine is the most widely used (rather abused) addictive psychoactive stimulant drug in the world. It is also the only addictive substance that we readily give to our children and teens.
● And a lot more.
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172 people found this helpful
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Ella Guru
1.0 out of 5 stars Cod psychology
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 29, 2018
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122 people found this helpful
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jlama
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 20, 2018
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149 people found this helpful
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