Jul 8, 2023

Book Review: Why we sleep by Matthew Walker

 I have raved a lot about this book in the past two weeks. It made a deep impact, both from the information learned as well as how it was conveyed so effectively by the author.

Though I knew the importance of sleep, the knowledge gained from this book made me understand why sleep is a non-negotiable factor in our well-being.

The author has made such convincing arguments backed by science and research, without any complex lingo. Sleep rhythm is governed by two factors - the internal 24-hour clock governed by the suprachiasmatic nucleus and the sleep pressure built up by the accumulation of adenosine. It was interesting to note how melatonin plays a role in signaling the sleep start time and doesn't help much in sustaining sleep.

The sleep cycle consists of multiple stages and the author has elaborated the role of each stage. The key takeaway for me was from the chapters related to REM sleep and how emotions are being processed. The recommended sleep for an adult, according to the author, is 7-9 hours of sleep every night.

Sleep deprivation affects our brains in multiple ways. The role of sleep in learning, memory, skill-building, and problem-solving is brilliantly explained. Sleep also impacts our body and the various systems. It was interesting to read about how sleep plays an important role in metabolism and immunity.

The author lists alcohol, caffeine, modern artificial lighting, blue screens, temperature control, and alarm clocks as the factors that affect our sleep. Very informative, especially how alarm clocks interrupt our REM sleep and jolt our cardiovascular and nervous systems.

Highly recommend this book to everyone. Impactful and eye-opening.

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