Get a free audiobook

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 (454 ratings)

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

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.

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    391
  • 4 Stars
    53
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    313
  • 4 Stars
    56
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    3

Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    326
  • 4 Stars
    47
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

life changing book !

I was reluctant to read this book has I don't tend to get enough sleep I knew it would tell me I needed more. and I was right but I am very glad I read it I feel like it's life-changing and the narrator was fantastic

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The importance of sleep is deeper than I thought.

Value your sleep. A very cautionary outlook on sleep deficit. Seems very credible and has made me much more aware of getting the sleep I need in my life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A real eye closer.... in a GOOD way! A must read

Great book presented in an intellectual and interesting way. The point the in school, health programs cover a proper diet and exercise but ignore sleep education is so true. He uncovers all the health benefits of sleeping and what happens from not sleeping properly. Also, tips on getting a better night sleep are included as well as why your body will respond better if you do it. A bonus is some analysis on dreaming, how it helps your memory and whether it is a good idea to pursue lucid dreaming.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Very interesting book

Dr Walker's book on how we sleep is fascinating.

Although the narration was good, I have a preference for non-fiction narrated by the author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Emma Bennett
  • 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.

36 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

67 of 71 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • NMwritergal
  • 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.

33 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Quality?
  • 2019-05-25

Wow, should have read this years ago...

It is amazing how Matt Walker takes these new studies and forms them into data we can learn from. Data that is not dry and mind-numbing but interesting and wants you to listen to sections over to really soak in that information. After reading this book and am much more driven to protect my sleep time and keep a schedule. And I must say that my life daily stability is much more even, that my pulls from memory and learning is becoming better even though I am aging and that effect on memories.

So I encourage you, that if you are reading this, to get this book and value yourself enough to take this topic seriously so you protect something that you can not get back.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew Foster III
  • 2019-05-01

The importance of sleep has blown my mind

I never knew sleep was so paramount to my health until now. Before today I knew a lack of sleep was unhealthy but now I know why consistent sleep and rest are vital to healthy living.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Shalom Yariv
  • 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".


15 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

25 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Simon
  • 2018-08-04

narrator

the info is great but it's not read by a captivating narrator so 2 stars for performance

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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