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Dr. Walker presents the results of research on sleep in a way that is both engaging and informative. The careful reader will emerge with a much more thorough awareness of how sleep impacts nearly every aspect of life.
I haven't finished it yet, but so far it's an excellent read. It's such good writing for an academic piece - very clear and easily understood language for the layperson. And the insights into sleep are almost unbelievable. My friend has read this three times and taken its instruction about sleep to heart, and after a year says his life has vastly improved. I'm looking foward to finishing it!
This book can be summarized in three words: get enough sleep. Beyond that, there isn’t much in the book that will surprise you. The author does a thorough (too thorough, in my opinion) job of describing all the ways sleep helps your body and how many ways lack of sleep hurts you. It really comes down to the same thing: get enough sleep. That’s what your mother told you. He describes many experiments, some of them ingenious, sleep researchers have done to prove the benefits of sleep. Sleepy drivers are more likely to die in a car crash. Duh. And so on. The workmanlike prose is very readable and understandable to the lay reader. I doubt reading this will change anyone’s behavior, especially since those who believe they function well on four hours a night aren’t likely to read it and will scoff at it if they do.
Matthew Walker believes that lack of sleep is one of the biggest health emergencies of our time, and after reading this book, I can't help but agree. If you or anyone in your life has trouble sleeping, this is required reading in my opinion. Walker does a fantastic job of taking his years of sleep related research and communicating the information clearly and engagingly.
This book emphatically makes the points that (1) getting enough sleep is absolutely essential to our physical and mental health and the quality of our life, and (2) most people in today’s world are not getting enough sleep.
How much is enough? Ideally, we should be getting at least 7.5-8 hours of sleep every single night. Even one night of poor sleep has negative impacts on our health. And “making up sleep” is a myth. We can not “make up” the loss from even one night of sleep.
What is the first step to making sure we get enough sleep? Spend at least 8-9 hours in bed every night. If we lie down in bed for only 6-7 hours, we can not possibly get enough sleep to be healthy. (You don’t have to sleep later; you can go to bed earlier. Will you really miss anything important?)
The section called “Why Should You Sleep” opens with the following:
“Scientists have discovered a revolutionary new treatment that makes you live longer. It enhances your memory and makes you more creative. It makes you look more attractive. It keeps you slim and lowers food cravings. It protects you from cancer and dementia. It wards off colds and the flu. It lowers your risk of heart attacks and stroke, not to mention diabetes. You’ll even feel happier, less depressed, and less anxious. Are you interested?”
If this were an ad for a drug, everyone would want it and Big Pharma would make a fortune. But it is not a drug. It is sleep; it is free and available to everyone. It is truly miraculous, and yet most of us do not take advantage of getting enough sleep. We are just not taking sleep seriously enough.
Question for us all: What are you doing with that extra time awake that is more important/beneficial than getting enough sleep? Whatever you are doing, it is not a good trade-off.
A plethora of information about sleep and its impact on our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. A must read for all!
I highly recommend this book! One of my favorite reads of the year. I've recommended this book to several of my friends. I'm so impressed I may have to buy a copy to add to my own personal library so I can refer to again and again. A one-time read will not be enough!
I love the way the author doesn't dilute the complexity of the science relating to anatomy and physiology of the brain --and the way sleep impacts. But, he uses ample analogy and examples to make a difficult subject easy enough for the general audience to understand.
After reading this, you will never feel guilty about going to bed on time --or even sleeping in or taking a nap if your body asks for it. But, oh, if it weren't often easier said than done!
In summary: Wow! Read it. And sleep on it. You'll be glad you did!!
If you're waiting for the book, look up his talks on YouTube.
It's amazing how much gets done to our bodies (in the way of repairs) when we're sleeping and the lack of good sleep may be responsible for a lot of what ails us in modern society.
Really important stuff.
Just finished reading this book. Loved how witty the author was and also all of the scientifically supported information presented in an easy to read fashion! Well worth the read highly recommend it.