Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

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Simon and Schuster, Oct 3, 2017 - Health & Fitness - 368 pages
4 Reviews
A New York Times bestseller

The first sleep book by a leading scientific expert—Professor Matthew Walker, Director of UC Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab—reveals his groundbreaking exploration of sleep, explaining how we can harness its transformative power to change our lives for the better.

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.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - KateVane - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Katyefk - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

Contents

Time Dilation
38
Changes in Sleep Across the Life Span
78
Part 2
105
Part 3
191
Dreaming as Overnight Therapy
206
Dream Creativity and Dream Control
219
Pills vs Therapy
282
What Medicine and Education
296
A New Vision for Sleep in the TwentyFirst Century
324
To Sleep or Not to Sleep
340
Copyright

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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.

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