Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

With two appearances on CBS This Morning and Fresh Air‘s most popular interview of 2017, Matthew Walker has made abundantly clear that sleep is one of the most important but least understood aspects of our life. 

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 it is absent. 

Compared to the other basic drives in life—eating, drinking, and reproducing—the purpose of sleep remains more elusive.

Within the brain, sleep enriches a diversity of functions, including 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 creates a virtual reality space in which the brain melds past and present knowledge, inspiring creativity.

In this “compelling and utterly convincing” (The Sunday Times) book, preeminent neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker provides a revolutionary exploration of sleep, examining how it affects every aspect of our physical and mental well-being. 

Charting the most cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs, and marshalling his 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, and increase longevity. 

He also provides actionable steps towards getting a better night’s sleep every night.

Matthew Walker

Matthew Walker

Matthew Paul Walker is an English scientist and professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a public intellectual focused on the subject of sleep. 

As an academic, Walker has focused on the impact of sleep on human health.

“The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep.”

“Practice does not make perfect. It is practice, followed by a night of sleep, that leads to perfection.”

“Humans are not sleeping the way nature intended. The number of sleep bouts, the duration of sleep, and when sleep occurs has all been comprehensively distorted by modernity.”

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