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Publisher's Summary

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.

But an explosion of scientific discoveries in the last 20 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. Among so many other things, 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 immensely accessible, Why We Sleep is the crucial account on sleep that will forever change listeners' minds on the subject.

©2017 Matthew Walker (P)2017 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Good basic information

This was a good book, but had some very basic information in it. If you are looking for ways to help you sleep better, find something else. If you are wanting to understand the benefits of sleeping or detriments of not sleeping, this is very good. I enjoyed the narration.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating book on sleep, highly recommended!

I️ was searching for a book on the science behind sleep, and I️ definitely found it! The author did a phenomenal job explaining all things sleep. From benefits, to diseases, to harmful impacts and more. I️ love learning the science behind things, and this book definitely delivered in that aspect.

In terms of practically, if you’ve ever read anything on how to sleep better I️ doubt you’ll find something new here. But this book doesn’t promise “how to sleep better” so I’m not docking it for that. I️ do recommend “Sleep Smarter” by Shawn Stevenson if you want more practical tips on how to sleep better. That being said, I️ have never been so motivated to get a consistent sleeping schedule than after/ while reading this book. For me, the book is worth it for that alone.

The narration was ehhh, I️ would give it a 3.5. I️ liked the authors voice but I️ did not finding him engaging, at all. To me it seems like he assumed people would be listening to this right before bed and read with a relaxed tone. However, it is definitely not bad enough to where I️ wouldn’t listen to it again.

The only part I️ thought was silly was when the author was trying to emphasize the evolutionary importance of sleep and he tries to flip the question of “why we sleep” to “why ever need to wake up?” Well let’s see there is food, water and sex, just to name a few reasons. Other than that I️ loved the book and think it’s well worth your credit!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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I recommend this to EVERYONE

I first noticed Why We Sleep on Audible's homepage under "New in Non-Fiction" and clicked on it simply because I saw it was narrated by one of my favorite narrators, Steve West. The subtitle "Unlocking the power of sleep and dreams" makes this sound like it would be full of watered down science and generic advice about getting a good night's sleep or interpreting your dreams. That is NOT what this book is, thankfully. Matthew Walker presents study after study explaining why we need sleep for every aspect of our lives (to prevent disease, to help remember things, to look more attractive, etc.). I was fascinated for all 14 hours of this book. I've recommended it to every person I know, because the content of the book is just so IMPORTANT. The next time I hear someone say, "Oh, I only need 5 hours of sleep a night," I will tell them how wrong they are and shove this book in their face. Seriously, everyone needs to READ THIS BOOK!!! Our society holds some really erroneous beliefs about sleep, from how much you should be getting a night, to whether you really have insomnia (you probably don't). Walker addresses everything you ever wanted to know about sleep and more in this book. I will be listening to this again soon.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The best book on sleep bar none

I absolutely hated this book for the first number of chapters. Both the narrator and the content (as applicable) seemed pretentious, dry, and lacking in anything of interest. However, it got so much better as I progressed through the book and eventually I came to view this as the best "sleep book" that I've ever read. I listen to a lot of podcasts on health, sleep and related content, and yet I learned a lot in this book that I never knew about sleep related issues.

I highly recommend that everyone read this book and I've purchased copies for many people that I know already. The content in this book can dramatically help improve the life of almost anyone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Desperately Needed Knowledge

So much critical information for so many of us that simply do not get enough sleep.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent!

Having been interested in this topic for years, I pre-ordered this book and started listening the first day it was available. What an education with life changing impact. Detailed information you can incorporate into your life right now. Mainly, sleep is one of our most readily available, unappreciated and abused remedies in our culture. It is time to augment all of the nutrition and exercise deluge of articles including the latest “super food” and talk about sleep. It’s always been there and its time we seek to understand and educate!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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great information on sleep, so good I overslept.

The information is critical for the public to know. I think most people are completely unaware how poor sleep adversely affects health.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profoundly important insight for our times.

I am recommending this book to all my friends. For the sake of one's health, creativity, mental wellbeing, and for the safety of our society, Matthew Walker's findings need to be widely known, especially by policy makers, and institutional decision makers such as school boards and superintendents and principles. And parents, and doctors, and everyone else, because insufficient sleep impacts EVERYTHING in our society.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good content. Good voice. Badly read.

I like the book, content and message. 5 stars.
I like the voice of the reader. 5 stars
However, there are unnatural pauses after every second or third word. This causes a very very incoherent listening experience.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating insight into sleep

This book has more scientific information than you can imagine about the ignored importance of sleep and how we can improve our lives by making a few changes to our daily schedule.