- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 13 hours and 31 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Audible.com Release Date: December 7, 2017
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English, English
- ASIN: B0785HMMKX
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,720 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams
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I'll save you the money by summarizing the book:
"Sleep is really, really, really, really, really important. If you don't get enough sleep, you could have many problems because sleep is really, really, really important. I'm not going to tell you how to get better or more sleep, I will only tell you that sleep is really important."
Personally, I think he's holding out on this information for his next book. Grrrrrrrr.
-Routinely sleeping less than 6 or 7 hours a night increases your risk of cancer by 50%.
-Every species every studied, preceding the emergence of vertebrates even, sleeps. Some species can sleep with only half their brain (!!). Sleep is an incredibly risky thing for an animal to do because you are completely vulnerable to predators when you sleep. But sleep is THAT important that it was preserved by evolution.
-After even one night of less than 5 hours of sleep, natural killer cells (which kill cancer cells that appear in your body EVERY DAY) drop by 70%. Just one night!!!
Buy it, read it, and then share it with everyone you know.
1. It doesn't live up to the tile: the book is mostly a collection of facts and interesting research results and it fails to provide any kind of overarching theory of why we sleep.
2. The main tool used in the book is the scare tactic: "here's what happens if sleep quality is compromised". It works, and it might even be the right approach in many cases (schools starting before 9am is simply barbaric). The problem is, for someone going though sleep troubles, this can dramatically make things worse. It took me ~6months to recover from this book.
Are you tired? If your answer is yes, it would seem relatively straightforward to assume you're not getting enough sleep. Yet, signs of sleep deprivation may not always be this obvious (and there are other factors besides sleep loss that can make you feel fatigued).
Dr. Walker does an outstanding job of helping you understand the mystery of why we sleep and unravels some of it mysteries, like why your brain shuts down motor control to your muscles during the most active part of sleep, REM sleep. During REM sleep, there is a nonstop barrage of motor commands swirling around your brain, and they underlie the movement-rich experience of dreams. Thankfully Nature tailored a physiological straitjacket that forbids these fictional movements from becoming reality which protects you from harming yourself. Your brain paralyzes your body during REM sleep so your mind can dream safely.
Dr. Walker also consults for many professional teams and helps their athletes understand how sleep is one of the most sophisticated, potent, and powerful—not to mention legal—performance enhancers that has real game-winning potential. Sleep can radically reduce career or season ending injuries and massively improve performance if optimized correctly.
On the downside he reviews the dangers of what most of us do every night. Not sleep enough. This coming week, more than 2 million people in the US will fall asleep while driving their motor vehicle. That’s more than 250,000 every day, with more such events during the week than weekends for obvious reasons. More than 56 million Americans admit to struggling to stay awake at the wheel of a car each month. As a result, 1.2 million accidents are caused by sleepiness each year in the United States. You may find it surprising to learn that vehicle accidents caused by drowsy driving exceed those caused by alcohol and drugs combined. And if you happen to be drinking or using drugs the results are not additive but synergistically exponential radically increasing your risk of an accident, injury or death.
These are only a few examples of the highly useful information you will receive by reading this book. Highly recommended.