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This book has 5 recommendations

Brad Feld (Co-Founder/Foundry Group)

Several friends, who know I both love to sleep and am intrigued with how sleep works, recommended that I read Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams. It was excellent. While my self-assessment of my sleep habits are very positive, I learned a few things. More importantly, I now have a much better understanding of the “Why” surrounding sleep, especially around sleep’s importance to a healthy and long life.

David Heinemeier Hansson (Co-Founder/Basecamp)

Maybe if you weren’t so tired all the time, you’d have time to read a book. I strongly recommend Why We Sleep. The science on sleep is clear: Continuously being deprived will make you miserable and ultimately kill you. Watching the stock market at 6am won’t counter that.

Shane Parrish (Creator/FarnamStreet Blog)

A powerful book that's influenced how I think about sleep and my routines. Consider it a compelling case for the superpower that's within reach: sleep. More than other books on the subject that simply focus on the 'what to do', this one gives you why you need to do it. By providing an overview of current sleep knowledge and explaining it in and accessible and detailed way, Matthew Walker sets this book apart from the other books.

Barbara Oakley (Author, Creator/Learning How to Learn online course [Coursera])

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams is one of the most important books we have ever read. If you read one book to help you with your learning (and life) this year, we think it should be Why We Sleep. It seems that every question we’ve ever wondered about related to sleep is covered by author Matthew Walker’s masterful discussion of sleep. Walker is the Director of UC Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab, so he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to snoozing. Yet Walker is also a masterful writer, full of witty, insightful metaphors that give an in-depth understanding of how and why we need to sleep. We’d always known that sleep was a vital part of learning–Walker’s book tells why sleep is so important. Walker shares sleep-related insights by the dozen along the way, such as why sleeping pills are much less innocuous than you think, tips and tricks to falling asleep more quickly, and why a tiny percentage of the population needs only 4 hours or so of sleep a night–(and why you’re probably not one of those people). Do not miss this book.

Adam Johnston (CEO & Co-Founder/Last Call Trivia)

The research in Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker has me completely riveted. Unfortunately, it took a Naturopath and many years of burning the candle at both ends for me to realize how important sleep was, not only for my longevity, but for my mood, sharpness, and accessibility to FLOW. Walker states early on in the book that he gives himself a non-negotiable 8-hour block of time for sleep each night. And if a neuroscientist can prove how important something is for my health that I already desire, I’m going to make consistent, sufficient sleep time a higher priority. Spoiler alert: it works.

Amazon description

The first sleep book by a leading scientific expert—Professor Matthew Walker, Director of UC Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab—reveals his groundbreaking exploration of sleep, explaining how we can harness its transformative power to change our lives for the better.

Sleep is one of the most important but least understood aspects of our life, wellness, and longevity. 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 we don't sleep. Compared to the other basic drives in life—eating, drinking, and reproducing—the purpose of sleep remained elusive.

An explosion of scientific discoveries in the last twenty years has shed new light on this fundamental aspect of our lives. Now, preeminent neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker gives us a new understanding of the vital importance of sleep and dreaming. Within the brain, sleep enriches 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 mollifies painful memories and creates a virtual reality space in which the brain melds past and present knowledge to inspire creativity.

Walker answers important questions about sleep: how do caffeine and alcohol affect sleep? What really happens during REM sleep? Why do our sleep patterns change across a lifetime? How do common sleep aids affect us and can they do long-term damage? Charting cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs, and synthesizing 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; increase longevity; enhance the education and lifespan of our children, and boost the efficiency, success, and productivity of our businesses. Clear-eyed, fascinating, and accessible, Why We Sleep is a crucial and illuminating book.

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Brad Feld, David Heinemeier Hansson, Shane Parrish, Barbara Oakley, Adam Johnston

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Matthew Walker


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