Book Review: Why We Sleep

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I was grappling with a new idea, my manager told me “Just, sleep on it’.

When I was sick, my mother told me “Get some sleep, you ll be fine tomorrow”.

When I had an important presentation the next day, my wife advises “Don’t strain too much, you need sleep”.

My wife, mother and manager are not sleep scientists, but their claims are spot on.

This book tells you how.

It also exposes, as a culture, how poorly we comprehend the hazards of sleep deprivation. For example, if there is an accident at a construction job site, it becomes news and is considered as negligence on the part of the construction company. But if a banker or software engineer dies of heart attack, there is little or no investigation to look into his work pattens and understand whether he had the opportunity to get adequate sleep. It is simply considered as a matter of personal responsibility.

This book is simply an eye opener. We all know the importance of sleep at some level but I never understood until now that stroke, heart attack, Alzheimer’s accelerates the moment we neglect sleep.

While the book is well written, actionable and insightful, it is 300+ pages peppered with scientific research, scary statistics and may not suit everyone’s taste.


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