Are you getting enough sleep? You should be, according to Matthew Walker, author of the new book “Why We Sleep.” Walker is a professor of neuroscience and psychology at UC Berkeley and one of the world’s foremost experts on sleep. In “Why We Sleep,” he argues that insufficient slumber is not only making us fat and contributing to heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and other ailments; it may also be robbing us of our very sanity. Drawing on cutting-edge research from his own lab and others around the world, Walker explains how we can all make simple changes—to bedtime habits or lifestyles—that can vastly improve our quality (and quantity) of shuteye. He also identifies four different stages of sleep: rapid eye movement (REM), nonrapid eye movement (NREM), REM rebound stage 1/2 REM cycle dominance stage 3 NREM slow wave Lightsleep deep slow wave delta power Finally unlocking the power for why dreams happen during Stage 2 &3 Non Rapid Eye Movement . A better understanding about what happens physiologically when we dream will lend more credence as to whether lucid dreaming which has shown some success in self exploring therapy might have some clinical value someday The takeaway: If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re harming your health and your mental state.
For who is this book for ?
If you are someone who struggles with insomnia, or if you’re just looking to learn more about sleep and dreams, this book is for you. Walker provides a wealth of information on the science of sleep, as well as strategies for getting more restful slumber.
- Walker is a neuroscience and psychology professor, making him one of the world’s foremost experts on sleep
- Walker provides readers with simple changes we can make to our bedtime habits or lifestyles to vastly improve our quality (and quantity) of shuteye
- “Why We Sleep” takes an in-depth look at the different stages of sleep and what happens physiologically when we dream
- The author is a professor of neuroscience and psychology at UC Berkeley, so some of the science might be over people’s heads.
- The book is dense and long, totaling 496 pages including notes and index.
- Some sections may not be relevant to everyone (e.g., those who don’t have trouble sleeping).
Learn more about the author
Matthew Walker is Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his PhD in Neurophysiology from Harvard University in 1998. His research focuses on how sleep influences memory and why we dream. Walker has written for a number of popular science publications, including Nature, New Scientist, Scientific American Mind,, and BBC Focus. In “Why We Sleep,” he draws on cutting-edge research from his own lab and others around the world to explain howsleep affects everything from weight gain to cancer risk, heart disease to creativity, and why getting enough sleep is critical for our overall health.
“I’m a notoriously bad sleeper, so I was very interested in this book. Walker offers lots of advice on how to get more and better sleep, backed by scientific research. The information is well organized and easy to understand.”
“Walker has done a superb job of weaving together the latest findings on sleep with his own personal experiences and anecdotes from patients to produce an engaging, informative book. Why We Sleep should be read by anyone who feels they don’t get enough sleep, as well as those interested in learning more about what goes on inside their head during slumber.”
“This book is a treasure trove of information on the importance of sleep for our overall health and well-being. Walker provides an in-depth look at how lack of sleep can lead to chronic diseases and decreased mental function, as well as strategies we can use to get more shuteye. He also delves into the fascinating world of dreams, exploring their function and potential benefits.”
“Walker makes a convincing case for the importance of sleep, not just in our day-to-day lives but in terms of both civilization and human evolution. It’s an eye-opening read.”