Why We Sleep

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

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

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

Sleep is a critical but little-understood aspect of our health, well-being, and longevity. Until recently, science had no explanation for why we sleep, what purpose it served, or why we suffer such debilitating health consequences when we don’t get enough sleep. In comparison to the other fundamental drives of life—eating, drinking, and reproducing—the purpose of sleep remained a mystery.

In the last two decades, an explosion of scientific discoveries has shed new light on this fundamental aspect of our lives. Now, eminent neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker illuminates the critical role of sleep and dreaming. Sleep improves our ability to learn, memorize, and make logical decisions within the brain. It rebalances our emotions, replenishes our immune system, optimizes our metabolism, and controls our appetite. Dreaming soothes painful memories and creates a virtual reality environment in which the brain integrates past and present knowledge to inspire creativity.

Walker addresses critical sleep questions, such as how caffeine and alcohol affect sleep. What occurs during REM sleep? Why do our sleep patterns change over the course of our lives? How do common sleep aids affect us, and are they capable of causing long-term harm? 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; improve our children’s education and lifespan; and boost our own efficiency, success, and productivity. Why We Sleep is a vital and illuminating book because it is clear-eyed, fascinating, and approachable.