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Book Review: Why We Sleep| Matthew Walker

Genre: Science

Gist: Neuroscientist Matthew Walker aims to explain how significant sleep is for a human. While most researchers focus on diet and medicine, Walker gives us astounding facts on how sleep is the most underrated medicine for most of our ailments.

Pulling an all-nighter before an exam or a presentation is more like a norm these days. Matthew Walker’s book Why We Sleep aims to convey why we must take sleep seriously. While the world is running behind different diet plans and exercise routines, sleep sure remains neglected. Being a neuroscientist, Walker’s book is full of facts and conclusions drawn from research studies and experiments.

When you pick this book make sure you are ready to soak in a lot of information and data. The book solely revolves around sleep but goes deeper than giving you tips on sleeping well. Right from helping you understand the difference between REM sleep and NREM sleep, the book further explains how lack of sleep triggers most of our physical problems.

Matthew Walker’s writing is easy to understand and is penned with an intention to help you examine your own sleep pattern. While reading the book you are bound to come across shocking facts about sleep deprivation. One of the very first paragraphs in the book mentions ‘Routinely sleeping less than six hours a night weakens your immune system, substantially increasing your risk of certain forms of cancer’, and that gets you hooked.

During the course of the book, Matthew brilliantly explores all the other integral parts of this activity called sleep. The book also has dedicated chapters for dreams, sleep disorders, effects of sleep on the brain, and so on.

Why We Sleep is an insightful read that will also answer several questions you have about your health in disguise. The book throws light on how the current work culture and sleep are impacting one another. More like a scientific research paper, the book needs a lot of focus because it involves several experiments and scientific terms. More than anything else, Why We Sleep is an important book!

The book starts with a basic question of what is sleep and before you know it, you start analyzing how bad your sleeping habits are! Why We Sleep gives you a reality check on why we should not take sleep lightly and how sleeping pills give us anything but sleep.

Further, the book clearly states how our society and policies disregard this important bodily function. Sleep loss is a public health issue but fails to find space in our rule book.

Why We Sleep will surely enlighten you with its well-demonstrated facts but you may find yourself overloaded with information. I suggest, take a break and then start reading again once you have managed to consume all the previous information.

An avid reader or not, this book must be read because it will help you understand how most of your problems have a solution in sleep. Even if you feel sleepy while reading the book think of it as an achievement because that’s what it wants you to do- SLEEP!

This review is in collaboration with Thoughts Brewery.

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