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Why We Sleep

Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
Written by: Matthew Walker PhD
Narrated by: Steve West
Length: 13 hrs and 52 mins
5 out of 5 stars (254 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 30.47
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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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

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

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Neat facts and great advice for better sleep

Very interesting book detailing the importance of sleep. There are many neat facts about the different sleep stages, and how these relate to daily performance, memory recollection, emotions, disease and more. The author has great analogies to help make some of the more technical aspects understandable. I've made a few very simple lifestyle changes as recommended in this book to improve my sleep. Well worth the listen.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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I'm telling everyone about this book & it's findin

This book blew open the door in my world on the benefits of sleep and the detriments of too little sleep. I knew of the importance of sleep but had no idea what far reaching consequence the lack of sleep can have on every system in the body. I changed my sleep habits immediately upon reading how detrimental it is to not sleep long enough. Improve every aspect of your life by getting enough shut-off eye.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Would be better as a physical book

I had high hopes for this book. I do believe that in this case the physical book in your hand would have been better. It is informative and you don’t need to listen to chapters in order. However, that being the case it is difficult to go back and reference something from another chapter. This should be treated as more of a text book/ reference book not as easy listening

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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One of the most important books you'll ever read <br />

Fascinating, valuable, and easy to implement. This book can change your life for the better with minimal effort. I can't recommend it enough. Narration is also excellent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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everyone should read this!!

loved the narrator, loved the contents. very scientific yet captivating with real life examples.
I hope everyone reads this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Potentially life and society changing!

This book is phenomenal. Very insightful. Helps you understand how sleep is the panacea. I'm reconsidering my life and how I analyze public policy. I've been recommending to everyone I know!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Sleep>Nutrition>Fitness

this book has truly opened my eyes to the importance of sleep. I have completely reprioritized my health habits to first optimize for sleep over all else and I will be buying a hard copy of this book for all of my family and friends.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Insight

After watching a few TED talks and lectures from Matthew Walker, I decided to listen to this book. Walker provides great insight into the importance of sleep and why our fast-pace society needs to recognize its positive attributes.

I've recommended this book multiple times after reading it and will definitely be gifting it as a Christmas present this year.

#Audible1

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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amazing and eye opening!

This book is terrifyingly good! We all know sleep is important but this book lays out how important it really is. It is scary to think of how important sleep is and all the times I figured it wasn't that crucial.
One of the few books I will listen to over and over as it is so full of information and hammers home the point of how important it is to get good sleep every night.
I have recommended this to anyone who will listen to me. #Audible1

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Awesome

Youll never want to get less than 8hrs of sleep again. Touches on the physical, mental and social issues caused from a lack of sleep.

It has helped me with high energy levels, lower mental fatigue, better rationalizing, etc which is great for work and play. Buy this book.

#Audible1

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Emma Bennett
  • Mississippi
  • 2017-12-11

I recommend this to EVERYONE

I first noticed Why We Sleep on Audible's homepage under &quot;New in Non-Fiction&quot; and clicked on it simply because I saw it was narrated by one of my favorite narrators, Steve West. The subtitle &quot;Unlocking the power of sleep and dreams&quot; 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, &quot;Oh, I only need 5 hours of sleep a night,&quot; 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.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Innate
  • 2017-12-10

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 &quot;sleep book&quot; 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.

53 of 56 people found this review helpful

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  • NMwritergal
  • Albuquerque, NM
  • 2017-12-24

One of my favorite nonfiction reads of 2017

I had been avoiding reading a book on what lack of sleep does to a person because I figured it the news would not be good and I sleep so badly, I just didn't want to know. But I heard the author on NPR and it sounded so interesting, I got it.

The news was worse than I thought! Nevertheless, it was so fascinating, full of such interesting information, I'm glad I read/listened to it. It's one of the few books that I'd say, &quot;Everyone should read this.&quot; For those who can manage to get a decent night's sleep but think 5 or 6 hours is enough--this might change their minds.

29 of 31 people found this review helpful

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  • Chad
  • 2018-08-02

Five stars from a habitual short sleeper

With my new found knowledge on the importance of sleep, this book may prove to be one of the most valuable purchases I've made. Having experienced many of the issues talked about herein and now understanding the power of sleep, I have already began putting forth an effort to sleep more. I plan to make all necessary adjustments until I can regularly get a full nights sleep. Hopefully in the near future this information becomes more widespread and is taught in all schools. I don't think I would have been so careless with my sleep had I known the benefits from early on. Better late than never though, so I'm very thankful to have found this book now.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Mary Jane
  • 2017-11-02

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.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Carlstedt Niclas
  • 2017-10-16

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.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2017-11-10

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!

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Shalom Yariv
  • Yavne, Israel
  • 2018-05-28

Good content, inadequate reading

Story: 5 starts Reading: 1 star

The Story
The content is updated, well organized and clear, yet not too simplistic. The previous time that I read about the science of sleep was almost three decades ago, and after listening to Matthew Walker's audio-book, I realized that these three decades had been very productive for sleep researchers.

The Reading
On the other hand, The reading is problematic and has some problems which seriously spoil the reading experience. First, it is very monotonous, and lacks the necessary vocal excitement that is so much needed for the delivery of an exciting scientific information. This may imply that the reader is not really interested in the fascinating story, and the result is that I had some difficulties keeping my concentration an found myself pressing the '30 seconds back' button repeatedly.

My conclusion is that it is best if scientists would read their own books, just like in the lectures of "The Great Courses".


9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian
  • 2019-02-14

Before this I was ignorant

As a scientist myself I loved listening to this. It has changed a lot of my habits around sleep. Also it's given me some hope for Alzheimer's which my grandmother had.

Before this book I was ignorant of the impact of sleep. During the course of reading it I've changed my habits and honestly feel a non placebo benifit

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2018-09-17

Most educational

This is by far the most educational book on sleep. The only way to improve your sleep pattern is to master the science behind. Besides giving the importance of sleep for health, the book also approaches several mysteries about dreaming and sleep which keep the book entertaining. However, do not buy unless particulary interested in sleep. But if you are, this is the best.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-11-04

Great book

This is a great book and a must read for every human being wishing to stay in shape