Why We Sleep

Why We Sleep Summary

Why We Sleep is an important and fascinating book…Walker taught me a lot about this basic activity that every person on Earth needs. I suspect his book will do the same for you.” —Bill Gates

A New York Timesbestseller and international sensation, this “stimulating and important book” (Financial Times) is a fascinating dive into the purpose and power of slumber.

With two appearances on CBS This Morningand Fresh Air's most popular interview of 2017, Matthew Walker has made abundantly clear that sleep is one of the most important but least understood aspects of our life. 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 it is absent. Compared to the other basic drives in life—eating, drinking, and reproducing—the purpose of sleep remains more elusive.

Within the brain, sleep enriches a diversity of functions, including 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 creates a virtual reality space in which the brain melds past and present knowledge, inspiring creativity.

In this “compelling and utterly convincing” (The Sunday Times) book, preeminent neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker provides a revolutionary exploration of sleep, examining how it affects every aspect of our physical and mental well-being. Charting the most cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs, and marshalling his 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, and increase longevity. He also provides actionable steps towards getting a better night’s sleep every night.

Clear-eyed, fascinating, and accessible, Why We Sleep is a crucial and illuminating book. Written with the precision of Atul Gawande, Andrew Solomon, and Sherwin Nuland, it is “recommended for night-table reading in the most pragmatic sense” (The New York Times Book Review).

Book Reviews


Very good3 star

Good book35


Life Changing5 star

All my life I’ve considered myself to be a night owl,taking pride of how much I cam do on slivers of sleep. Now I fear I’ve cheated myself of a better life due to not getting enough sleep. It’s not too late though. I’m working on my sleep rhythm and focusing on my kids so they don’t suffer the same fate. This book does a great job of illustrating the importance of sleep, something I took for granted. Everyone should read this book to at least understand how many health and wellness issues are tied to the lack of sleep. We’ve poured so many resources into so many other sectors of health while completely ignoring sleep… That won’t happen with me and my family Amy longer! Thank you! -Robert Micheal Walker55


Amazing and wonderful book5 star

I was expecting it to be good but it blew my mind! I recommend it to everyone now. Sleep is so important.55


It’s 5:41 Am…..5 star

It’s 5:41 Am… and I need sleep! I went to bed like usual… but I couldn’t sleep! I tried everything, even everything in this book! Anyone got any tips? *I NEED SLEEP*55


Very interesting!!5 star

This book opens my mind to the amount of sleep I get and the amount of sleep I should be getting. The science behind the benefits is endless and it shows that sleep is one of the main things I can do to be healthier, happier, smarter and love a long life.55


Good5 star

Pretty good...I enjoyed it55


Why we sleep2 star

The author provides lots of data, studies, public policy ideas and other information...unfortunately, there is not much on getting better sleep other than the same things everyone already knows. There are a few chapters on dreams and dreaming that are interesting, but, overall I would not recommend this book to anyone.25


Why we sleep5 star

Wow. That’s the least I can say. What an unbelievable book. Wish I could get everyone in the world to read it, especially my family, and the current U. S. president. So much for the genius of Thomas Edison. I’m going to sleep now. I want to change my life.55

Mr. Piggster

The Need to Change the Way We View Sleep5 star

If you read this book you will never look at your sleep time the same way and that's a good thing! Matthew Walker's book is an in-depth, easy-to-understand, fascinating read about sleep. We spend a third of our lives sleeping, yet most of us have no idea what is going on in our brains and bodies while we are doing it. One of the best take-aways for me from reading this book is that our circadian cycles are hard wired into our brains. I'm a night owl and have suffered loss of sleep during most of my life. I am now at a point where I can give in to my natural circadian rhythm and get a full night's sleep. The results have been almost immediate for me. I feel more focused, have more energy and less anxiety. Seeing my husband off to work has taken a back seat to my getting a full night of sleep. What a difference. So good to know I'm not just lazy! If our society pays attention to the excellent suggestions in this book, it could have a positive influence on everything from health- mental and physical- to productivity at work and personal achievement. I hope everyone will read it.55

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