Why we sleep : unlocking the power of sleep and dreams / Matthew Walker, PhD.

Item request has been placed! ×
Item request cannot be made. ×
  Processing Request
Share on Goodreads
  • Additional Information
    • Publication Information:
      First Scribner hardcover edition.
    • Abstract:
      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. An explosion of scientific discoveries in the last twenty 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. 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 accessible, Why We Sleep is a crucial and illuminating book"-- Provided by publisher.
    • Content Notes:
      Part 1. This thing called sleep -- To sleep ... -- Caffeine, jet lag, and melatonin: losing and gaining control of your sleep rhythm -- Defining and generating sleep: time dilation and what we learned from a baby in 1952 -- Ape beds, dinosaurs, and napping with half a brain: who sleeps, how do we sleep, and how much? -- Part 2. Why should you sleep? -- Your mother and Shakespeare knew: the benefits of sleep for the brain -- Too extreme for the Guinness Book of World Records: sleep deprivation and the brain -- Cancer, heart attacks, and a shorter life: sleep deprivation and the body -- Part 3. How and why we dream -- Routinely psychotic: REM-sleep dreaming -- Dreaming as overnight therapy -- Dream creativity and dream control -- Part 4. From sleeping pills to society transformed -- Things that go bump in the night:" sleep disorders and death caused by no sleep -- iPads, factory whistles, and nightcaps: what's stopping you from sleeping? -- Hurting and helping your sleep: pills vs. therapy -- Sleep and society: what medicine and education are doing wrong; what Google and NASA are doing right -- A new vision for sleep in the twenty-first century -- Conclusion: To sleep or not to sleep -- Appendix: Twelve tips for healthy sleep.
    • Notes:
      Includes bibliographical references and index.
    • ISBN:
      9781501144318
      1501144316
      9781501144325
      1501144324
    • Accession Number:
      2017033123
    • Accession Number:
      ocn975365716
      975365716
    • Accession Number:
      fay.544026

Reviews

Booklist Reviews 2017 October #2

Walker, director of UC Berkeley's Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab, enthusiastically explains how every aspect of our well-being is enhanced by a proper night's sleep and the disastrous effects of too-little sleep. He writes about how the evolutionary adaptation of REM sleep contributed to the emergence of homo sapiens and how our ability to learn, memorize, and make logical decisions decreases when we are sleep deprived. Different types of electrical activity in our brains move what we experience during the day into long-term memory while we sleep, and studies show that much of this is lost without alternating periods of deep and REM sleep. Less than seven-to-nine hours of sleep per night affects the immune system, too. Walker covers sleep disorders and remedies and cautions that our undervaluing of the need for sleep truly is detrimental to our health, then builds the case for changes in attitude and policies, such as a later start to the school day for teens. Walker makes the science behind sleep and the why of sleep accessible and intriguing. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2017 July #1

Why do we sleep? Walker (neuroscience & psychology, Univ. of California Berkeley) draws from 20 years of sleep research, which demonstrates that sleep provides a plethora of benefits, both mental and physical, to the entire body. He discusses the biology of sleep, the dangers of sleep deprivation, why we dream, and sleep disorders. The author laments the organizational culture that equates sleeplessness with productivity, and demonstrates the fallacy of that belief. He emphasizes the importance of sleep to the developing brains of children and teenagers, and why early school start times are harming high school students physically and academically. He also explains that if all of the benefits that sleep bestows could be formatted into a pill, no one would hesitate to take it; but the benefits are available to all of us for free. The book closes with a discussion of personal, organizational, and societal practices that would greatly benefit health, productivity, creativity, and longevity. Walker is a scientist but writes for the layperson, illustrating tricky concepts with easily grasped analogies. VERDICT Of particular interest to business owners, educators, parents, and government officials, and anyone who has ever suffered from a poor night's sleep.—Rachel Owens, Daytona State Coll. Lib., FL

Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

PW Reviews 2017 August #3

Walker, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at UC Berkeley, begins his first book by reminding readers that until quite recently, the routine that most of us go through nightly was a mystery. Adopting a conversational style that belies his research background, Walker conveys his insights into the process of sleep with enthralling clarity. He recounts how once, after giving a lecture, he was approached by a pianist, who made the seemingly incidental remark that, after a good night's sleep he can "just play" even demanding pieces, leading Walker to recognize how closely related learning is to rest. He also sheds new light on well-covered areas, revealing that Freud had developed a more biologically founded approach to dreams before formulating his famous theory. The biggest takeaway is not that lack of sleep can literally kill, but that most of us, without being in mortal danger, are still not getting nearly enough. Anyone who reads this book will (though perhaps only after a good night's sleep) learn a great deal about one of life's most basic, but also most profound, needs. Agent: Tina Bennett, William Morris Endeavor. (Oct.)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.