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Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Matthew Walker

Narrated By: Steve West

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date: October 2017

Duration: 13 hours 51 minutes


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.

But 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. Among so many other things, 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 immensely accessible, Why We Sleep is the crucial account on sleep that will forever change readers’ minds on the subject.


  • Lorraine C

    This book is a must read. If you really listen to the message, you have to change your habits to get 8 hours of sleep. Or else die, or get Altzheimers, or get heart disease, or lose your mind or (name another disease). I gave it five because we all need to hear the message and the data, SLEEP MORE OR ELSE, but the oral read can be tedious. The narrator is the same voice as those British guys who do the hypnosis tapes on YouTube. You just zone out after 3 minutes of listening between the relentless delivery of data and the monotone, calm voice. Too bad because there are tons of tongue in cheek jokes throughout the book that with the right inflection could have given the read more vibrancy. I kept thinking I should just buy the book, especially since there are tons of charts, graphs and diagrams that he refers to during the read. You can get them emailed to you if you download it. Just send an email to Audiobooks and they'll forward it to you. I still highly recommend this book though! It's a life changer!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Michael H

    A lot of great research data to support premise. Gives fascinating perspective on role of sleep in human life and its importance. Anyone interested in how the brain works will like this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Ted E.

    a fascinating listen. Well documented. If you even think you have sleep issues, this book is a must! A side note: there were a couple of homophobic snide remarks that shocked me and made me realise the author is a wee out of synch with modern LGBT awareness.

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

by Matthew Walker

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