Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker

A PHUSE book review by Sascha Ahrweiler

Those of you who will be joining us at our PHUSE EU Connect event in Amsterdam will have the pleasure of listening to Neil Stanley, when he gives a keynote on 'Sleep and the Ways of Measuring it'. Neil will also be giving a Hands-on Workshop on the same topic. Well, why should we be interested in this? This is not a typical PHUSE topic: it does not exactly help in solving coding problems, does it?

After reading “Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams”, you might think differently. The author, Matthew Walker, spent four years writing the book, in which he asserts that sleep deprivation is linked to numerous fatal diseases, including dementia, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases. A lot of diseases can easily be prevented by improving the quality of sleep.


As a professor of neuroscience and psychology, Matthew Walker definitely knows what he is writing about. In this book, Walker explores the latest scientific thinking and the importance of sleep. He also dives into the social challenges of different sleeping patterns. Did you know that about 30% of the population are night owls? These people have tremendous difficulties in adapting to accepted social schedules, light, early mornings, school. They continuously have to fight against their own circadian rhythm, which dictates the sleep pattern of each human.

When you learn that driving drowsy has the same increased risk as driving drunk, as shown by a large-scale Australian study, you do not need to think twice about why sleep really matters.

Sleep, or rather lack of sleep, seems to be very common in our society, where the internet never sleeps and everything is connected. It is no surprise then that Walker‘s book became an international bestseller, including a #1 Sunday Times bestseller in the UK, and a New York Times bestseller.

Anyone who wants to live a healthier life or to improve the quality of their sleep should read this book. If you are not a reader, we hope that you will at least look forward, as I am, to the exciting keynote from Neil Stanley in Amsterdam.


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Categories: Off the Shelf

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