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  • Why We Sleep

  • The New Science of Sleep and Dreams
  • By: Matthew Walker
  • Narrated by: John Sackville
  • Length: 13 hrs and 31 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (2,922 ratings)

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Why We Sleep

By: Matthew Walker
Narrated by: John Sackville
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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

The number one Sunday Times best seller.

TLS, Observer, Sunday Times, FT, Guardian, Daily Mail and Evening Standard Books of the Year 2017.

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, read by John Sackville.

Includes a bonus PDF of graphs and diagrams.

Sleep is one of the most important aspects of our life, health and longevity and yet it is increasingly neglected in 21st 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 audiobook, the first of its kind written by a scientific expert, Professor Matthew Walker explores 20 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.

©2017 Matthew Walker (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Astonishing...an amazing book...absolutely chocker full of things that we need to know." (Chris Evans)

"Matthew Walker is probably one of the most influential people on the planet." (Evening Standard)

"Startling, vital...a life-raft." (Guardian)

What listeners say about Why We Sleep

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    5 out of 5 stars

If you value your own health, listen to this book.

I was hesitant to purchase this book, as it wasn't something I would normally listen to. However, listening to this book has been one of the most important things i have ever spent my time doing. This book covers the recent and incredibly salient break throughs in the understanding of sleep and the consequences of its neglect. If you value your health/life expectancy or the health of those you care about you must listen to this. My prior attitude towards sleep was reckless. As a student studying maths and physics I regularly sacrificed sleep to complete assignments and other tasks, and in hind sight it's clear how deleterious that behaviour is. Every human should hear this, so their attitude towards sleep recognises/matches its true importance.

Also, fantastically well articulated concepts, by the author, and supurb reading by the reader. (only a few pronunciation mistakes throughout the entire book (impressive!))

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40 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

amazing book. loved it. so mush fresh information.

easy too get through. great narrator. easy to digest information. I really didn't think I could learn so much about sleep. literally changed me while listeniing to it.

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23 people found this helpful

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This book has been debunked

If you Google "Matthew Walker debunked" you'll find the link where Alexey Guzey has fact checked just the first chapter and found that the claims are not evidence based. Specifically
*shorter sleep does not imply shorter life span
*sleeping less than 6 hours a night does not double your risk of cancer
*lack of sleep will not outright kill you
*the World Health Organization never declared a sleep loss epidemic
*two-thirds of adults in developed nations do not fail to obtain the recommended amount of sleep
Guzey provides citations and shows that Walker's citations are misleading or inaccurate.
Wish I never wasted my time reading this book, or stressing out about my sleep

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21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Awaken to sleep

Sleep scientist Matthew Walker lays out nothing short of an all out crusade about the importance of sleep in this well composed work, of which the chapters contained can easily be navigated in any order to what area of sleep knowledge the reader is looking to know as suggested by the author in the prologue.
The book does revolve largely around the affects of sleep or lack of on the brain and its different components most affected the frontal cortex, hippocampus, hypothalamus etc.
Also mentioned numerously throughout are the sleep cycles particularly REM & NREM, and the studies conducted to research the effects of the type of sleep people get, not all sleep is equal as he points out.
Everything else from sleeping conditions of which the are over 100 documented types, to the negative effects on every part of the body that poor sleep can cause, believed by Matthew to be of greater seriousness than poor diet or exercise but gets around 1% the attention of these other societal affecting crises of the modern age.
Put short I was highly engaged through most of the book, I'm sure it could be updated in the future with the amount of research being conducted into this developing field, Matthew does his best to dissuade readers from the many sleep aid developed drugs available on the market, to add the sleep aid market which is worth around 30billion dollars annually in the US shows the severity of the problem at hand, he rather lists quite well alternative ways to manage a good 8hrs shut eye into every 24hr period.
The narrator can come across sometimes as nothing short of a sleep nazi, though I believe anyone unconvinced of the bennifits of a good sleep to purchase a sleep tracking smartwatch of which this reader recently obtained and notice the affects on the body particularly the cardiovascular data recorded and you will soon learn to manage the sleep you get in a very different way, the parts in the book on dreaming are also a favourite of mine.

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20 people found this helpful

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A must read for absolutley for everyone now!

I believe this will change everyone's lives for the better. it's easy to listen to and relatively easy to make changes for positive outcomes in all aspects of our personal lives. some messages we already knew and now here's scientific evidence supporting them. May authorities who have power to implement changes that can affect many, read this and act quickly.

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9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Depressing

Leaves you feeling anxious and depressed if you have sleep problems. you are going to have a stroke, heart attack, develop dementia erc. however some interesting facts about why we sleep. If you worry about sleeping don't read this book.

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8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A must for doctors and insomniacs

Not sure I enjoyed the narrator as he sounded more media than academic but the content was seriously enlightening. I wonder if a a few critiques of this book might have helped the context although one hopes such an eminent academic would have got the balance right. At times the narrator overstressed matters a little more than I think the author might have intended. I felt the medication section was a little deficient as this was my main interest. Nevertheless, a huge task summarising a lifetime of study and what a huge subject! Hopefully Matthew Walker will revise over time as new research emerges. Unusually, I may reread this more than a few times and will download the book for my reference (as an academic reader in a related discipline hopefully this might offer a few references).

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing. Made me rethink sleep and prioritise it

This book was shocking and amazing. Please listen. It will make you rethink how essential slepp is.

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7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

goodnight everyone.

a real eye shutter! The knowledge of sleep is sound and should never be interrupted by modernity. The path to good sleep is worth the travel. Everyone should read this book. I now seek 8 hours every night with the evidence uncovered in this must read .👁🙏

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6 people found this helpful

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Amazing book

This book is absolutely fascinating, I always knew sleep was important but until I listened to this I never appreciated how vital it is to every part of our life. I wish Matthew’s recommendations to society were followed in their entirety, what a huge difference it would make to our lives and the lives of our children. I for one will implement as many of his recommendations as I can and for the rest of my life I will prioritize sleep in my life!! Thanks so much for writing this book Matthew!

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