Book Review: “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker PhD

why we sleep

I thought sleep was an important factor in good health, I didn’t realise quite how essential a good night’s sleep is to our overall health.

Routinely sleeping less than six or seven hours a night demolishes your immune system, more than doubling your risk of cancer.

This book is a fascinating read backed up by a wealth of research, looking into why we sleep, and what happens if we deprive ourselves of sleep in any way. As a teacher, I was interested in how sleep affects learning, children today sleep on average two hours less than their counterparts a century ago, and it plays havoc with their learning.

When it comes to information processing, think of the wake state principally as reception (experiencing and constantly learning the world around you), NREM* sleep as reflection (storing and strengthening those raw ingredients of new facts and skills), and REM sleep as integration (interconnecting these raw ingredients with each other, with all past experiences, and, in doing so, building an ever more accurate model of how the world works, including innovative insights and problem-solving abilities).


I could go on at  great length about the value of this book but, as its approaching midnight, I feel I should get myself some restorative shuteye. I think everyone should read this to realise how valuable sleep really is.

In the small enclaves of Greece where siestas still remain intact, such as the island of Ikaria, men are nearly four times as likely to reach the age of ninety as American males.

*NREM is non-REM sleep

My rating : 5 out of 5

2 thoughts on “Book Review: “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker PhD

  1. Pingback: Sleep and Learning – The Reluctant Georgian Learner

  2. Pingback: New Year’s Resolutions – Blog #2

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