Why We Sleep

Why We Sleep : The New Science of Sleep and Dreams

4.47 (14,219 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$26.40

Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks



'Vital ... a life-raft' Guardian
'A top sleep scientist argues that sleep is more important for our health than diet or exercise' The Times
'It had a powerful effect on me' Observer
'I urge you all to read this book' Times Higher Education

Sleep is one of the most important aspects of our life, health and longevity and yet it is increasingly neglected in twenty-first-century society, with devastating consequences: every major disease in the developed world - Alzheimer's, cancer, obesity, diabetes - has very strong causal links to deficient sleep.

Until very recently, science had no answer to the question of why we sleep, or what good it served, or why its absence is so damaging to our health. Compared to the other basic drives in life - eating, drinking, and reproducing - the purpose of sleep remained elusive.

Now, in this book, the first of its kind written by a scientific expert, Professor Matthew Walker explores twenty years of cutting-edge research to solve the mystery of why sleep matters. Looking at creatures from across the animal kingdom as well as major human studies, Why We Sleep delves in to everything from what really happens during REM sleep to how caffeine and alcohol affect sleep and why our sleep patterns change across a lifetime, transforming our appreciation of the extraordinary phenomenon that safeguards our existence.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 156 x 241 x 43mm | 617g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0241269067
  • 9780241269060
  • 25,662

Review quote

A neuroscientist shows how a good night's shut-eye can make us cleverer, more attractive, slimmer, happier, healthier and ward off cancer . . . it's probably a little too soon to tell you that it saved my life, but it's been an eye-opener -- Mark O'Connell * Guardian * Passionate, urgent . . . it had a powerful effect on me -- Rachel Cooke * Observer * Compelling and utterly convincing . . . you'll never think of your bedtime in the same way again -- James McConnachie * The Sunday Times * A stimulating and important book . . . richly packed with science -- Clive Cookson * Financial Times * Uplifting . . . Walker is in love with sleep and wants us to fall in love with sleep, too -- David Kamp * The New York Times * Matthew Walker is probably one of the most influential people on the planet -- Katie Law * Evening Standard * Astonishing ... an amazing book ... absolutely chocker full of things that we need to know -- Chris Evans Passionate, urgent, convincing . . . it had a powerful effect on me -- Rachel Cooke * Observer * A powerful rallying cry by a researcher at the top of his game. If you want an effective distillation of a science that reaches deep into the frontiers of consciousness and identity . . . this is a good place to start. -- Oliver Moody * The Times * A stimulating and important book . . . richly packed with science . . . Walker describes superbly what is going on in the brain during sleep and dreaming -- Clive Cookson * Financial Times * Startling, sobering, vital, a life raft. . . . it's probably a little too soon to tell you that Why We Sleep saved my life, but I can tell you that it's been an eye-opener -- Mark O'Connell * Guardian * Why We Sleep is a book on a mission...One especially winning attribute of Walker is that he's not a scold. He frames his suggestions for more healthful sleep habits not as a series of eat-your-Wheaties admonitions, but as wondrous, uplifting improvements in quality of life...Why We Sleep mounts a persuasive, exuberant case for addressing our societal sleep deficit and for the virtues of sleep itself. It is recommended for night-table reading in the most pragmatic sense * The New York Times Book Review * This is brilliant popular science writing: accessible, compelling and enlightening -- David Lodge * Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year * One of my favourite books this year, and definitely the most useful . . . Now I go to sleep much earlier and feel much better for it. -- William Leith * Evening Standard Books of the Year * A top sleep scientist argues that sleep is more important for our health than diet or exercise -- Tom Whipple * The Times * Most of us have no idea what we do with a third of our lives. In this lucid and engaging book, Matt Walker explains the new science that is rapidly solving this age-old mystery. Why We Sleep is a canny pleasure that will have you turning pages well past your bedtime -- Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness Simply a must-read. World-renowned neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker takes us on a fascinating and indispensable journey into the latest understandings of the science of sleep . . . that may change the way you live your life. In these super-charged, distracting times it is hard to think of a book that is more important to read than this one -- Adam Gazzaley, co-author of The Distracted Mind
show more

About Matthew Walker

Matthew Walker's fascination with sleep has taken him from Nottingham to Harvard and on to the University of California, Berkeley, where he is currently Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology and Director of the Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory. He has published over 100 scientific research studies during the course of his twenty-year career. Why We Sleep is his first book.
show more

Rating details

14,219 ratings
4.47 out of 5 stars
5 60% (8,575)
4 29% (4,151)
3 8% (1,196)
2 1% (209)
1 1% (88)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X