Why We Sleep

- Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams -

Matthew Walker, PhD

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Book Details
 277 p
 File Size 
 3,476 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 978-1-5011-4433-2 (ebook) 
 2017 by Matthew Walker

About the Author
MATTHEW WALKER, PHD, is a professor of neuroscience and psychology at UC Berkeley, the
director of its Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab, and a former professor of psychiatry at Harvard
University. He has published more than a hundred scientific studies and has appeared on 60
Minutes, Nova, BBC News, and NPR’s Science Friday. Why We Sleep is his first book.


To Sleep or Not to Sleep

Within the space of a mere hundred years, human beings have abandoned their biologically
mandated need for adequate sleep—one that evolution spent 3,400,000 years perfecting in service
of life-support functions. As a result, the decimation of sleep throughout industrialized nations is
having a catastrophic impact on our health, our life expectancy, our safety, our productivity, and
the education of our children.
This silent sleep loss epidemic is the greatest public health challenge we face in the twenty-first
century in developed nations. If we wish to avoid the suffocating noose of sleep neglect, the
premature death it inflicts, and the sickening health it invites, a radical shift in our personal,
cultural, professional, and societal appreciation of sleep must occur.
I believe it is time for us to reclaim our right to a full night of sleep, without embarrassment or
the damaging stigma of laziness. In doing so, we can be reunited with that most powerful elixir of
wellness and vitality, dispensed through every conceivable biological pathway. Then we may
remember what it feels like to be truly awake during the day, infused with the very deepest
plenitude of being.

Table of Contents
– Part 1 –
This Thing Called Sleep
Chapter 1 To Sleep . . .
Chapter 2 Caffeine, Jet Lag, and Melatonin: Losing and Gaining Control of Your Sleep Rhythm
Chapter 3 Defining and Generating Sleep: Time Dilation and What We Learned from a Baby in
Chapter 4 Ape Beds, Dinosaurs, and Napping with Half a Brain: Who Sleeps, How Do We Sleep,
and How Much?
Chapter 5 Changes in Sleep Across the Life Span
– Part 2 –
Why Should You Sleep?
Chapter 6 Your Mother and Shakespeare Knew: The Benefits of Sleep for the Brain
Chapter 7 Too Extreme for the Guinness Book of World Records: Sleep Deprivation and the Brain
Chapter 8 Cancer, Heart Attacks, and a Shorter Life: Sleep Deprivation and the Body
– Part 3 –
How and Why We Dream
Chapter 9 Routinely Psychotic: REM-Sleep Dreaming
Chapter 10 Dreaming as Overnight Therapy
Chapter 11 Dream Creativity and Dream Control
– Part 4 –
From Sleeping Pills to Society Transformed
Chapter 12 Things That Go Bump in the Night: Sleep Disorders and Death Caused by No Sleep
Chapter 13 iPads, Factory Whistles, and Nightcaps: What’s Stopping You from Sleeping?
Chapter 14 Hurting and Helping Your Sleep: Pills vs. Therapy
Chapter 15 Sleep and Society: What Medicine and Education Are Doing Wrong; What Google
and NASA Are Doing Right
Chapter 16 A New Vision for Sleep in the Twenty-First Century
Conclusion: To Sleep or Not to Sleep
About the Author
Appendix: Twelve Tips for Healthy Sleep
Illustration Permissions

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First Scribner hardcover edition October 2017
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