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Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body

3.59  ·  Rating Details  ·  680 Ratings  ·  154 Reviews
The acclaimed science writer Jennifer Ackerman lends her keen eye and lively voice to this marvelous exploration of the human body. Taking us through a typical day, from the arousal of the senses in the morning to the reverie of sleep and dreams, Ackerman reveals the human form as we’ve never seen it: busy, cunning, and miraculous.
Advances in genetics and medical imaging
Hardcover, 253 pages
Published October 2nd 2007 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,659)
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Jun 17, 2009 Matt rated it really liked it
Last night, I ate too much, drank too much beer, and fell asleep too early. So I woke up at about three in the morning, feeling overheated, awake, and generally uncomfortable. I grabbed a nice tall glass of water, and pulled out this book to re-read this passage: "So-called diet-induced thermogenesis, or DIT, is the body's way of converting surplus calories directly into heat – in essence, wasting energy – and it varies a great deal from person to person. … Usually our cells burn only as much en ...more
Dec 12, 2008 Samantha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is a great discussion of what we know about how the human body works, put into layman's terms. The author isn't a scientist herself, but (if I remember correctly) describes herself as a "science writer." She's also very good about citing her sources, and I didn't notice any leaps to conclusions that weren't based on data that she referenced, or weren't from actual scientists she quoted.

It's a quick read, not bogged down in scientific language, and uses stories from specific people to i
Nov 01, 2007 Elyssa rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This is a physiological trip through your body over 24 hours. The author provides in-depth information, including studies that support the best times to engage in certain activities, the amount of sleep needed, why some people gain weight and other don't, etc.

I realized that I am an impatient reader because I got bored with the details of the body's inner workings and how the studies cited were set up and conducted. I was more interested in the outcomes and recommendations. This book would have
May 22, 2008 tee rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own
I have no idea why this book is priced at just under $60, as it was a rather slim volume. I also have no idea why you'd set out to write a book about human function but only write so little about it. I say that predominantly because I could read about the subject all day, every day and wanted this book to be longer for selfish reasons.

Ackerman writes about the human body with style and she managed to cram quite a lot of facts in this rather short book without it feeling like you were taking too
Jan 22, 2009 Toby rated it really liked it
I wanted more! Well researched and very interesting, esp. for us anatomy nerds out there it wasn't enough. Seemed the author sold herself short -not writing a longer book and going mre in depth on some topics, exploring others . . .
Megan C
Jan 16, 2009 Megan C rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Popular science. It was fun to read and I learned lots of neat little things about us humans.
Dec 02, 2008 Katie rated it really liked it
This is a very interesting book so far, I'm almost finished!
Sep 15, 2009 Ashley rated it really liked it
This book follows your body and its inner workings over a 24-hour period.

Despite being based heavily in scientific studies and research, the content was readable, engaging, and easy to understand. Given my penchance for random factoids, I found myself constantly nudging my husband and asking him if he knew that you're most likely to die in the early morning hours (5AM-ish to 7AM-ish) because blood pressure and cortisol production begin to ramp up in anticipation of your waking up.

Or that WHEN c
Dec 14, 2011 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Jennifer Ackerman’s Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream goes through the bodily functions in an interesting and unique way – what happens from the moment we wake up until we fall asleep and prepare to wake again. While her overarching storyline is about a working individual who drinks coffee and drives to work from a first person perspective – she is quick to insert other possible scenarios with specificity that is applicable for nearly everyone including teenagers. Additionally, Ackerman returns to the t ...more
Sarah O'Brien
Oct 24, 2011 Sarah O'Brien rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Sex, Sleep, Eat, Drink, Dream. A Day in the Life of Your Body.

Jennifer Ackerman's full title is very catchy and will pull your eye in with interest. According to her bio, Ackerman is an author who writes for National Geographic and The New York Times among other publications. In A Day in the Life of Your Body, Ackerman uses enough scientific wording to be accurate and enlightening while at the same time providing her audience with an easy and engaging read. The book is a journey through those to
Taede Smedes
Jun 15, 2013 Taede Smedes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: popular-science
erwijl wij iedere dag onze dagelijkse dingen doen – opstaan, ontbijten, naar het werk gaan, werken, lunchen, thuiskomen, eten, ontspannen, slapen – zijn er in onze lichamen talloze processen aan de gang, die we (gelukkig) meestal niet opmerken, maar die wel degelijk hun invloed laten gelden in de dingen die we doen. Met name de wijze waarop we de dingen doen en hoe we onze dag ervaren, is niet alleen afhankelijk van externe factoren, maar ook sterk afhankelijk van lichamelijke processen. Veel va ...more
Jan 23, 2013 Dillon rated it it was amazing
Without a doubt this book is in my top 10 of favorite books. Since I am fascinated by the human body, this book was perfect for me. Jennifer Ackerman did a great job explaining what our bodies go through in a course of a 24-hour period. I learned what my body goes through in the morning like how our bodys can tell time in our sleep. I learned how many of the foods we eat in the morning can greatly impact the course of the rest of our day. Ackerman says eating as healthy of foods as possibly will ...more
Christina (Reading Thru The Night)
I read a review of this book right before the winter holiday and immediately put it on my TBR list. Science, specifically A&P and neuroscience, is a big interest to me. (Neuroscience is a relatively new interest, acquired mid-master degree). Ackerman, a woman who had been intrigued with the human body for years, finally decided to research it intensely and write a book revealing the "in's and out's" of your body in a 24 hour period. From the moment your body wakes until the end of the day wh ...more
Terri Ann
Jan 22, 2009 Terri Ann rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, science
Fascinating read about how the body works and current research on those subjects. I was especially intrigued by the discussion of the timeworks in the body and how much the body can vary throughout the day. I think my blood pressure is often borderline high because I often go to the doctor in the late afternoon - when blood pressure is the highest. Lots of great sleep information. I learned more about the vagus nerve than I'd previously understood. Lots of great info regarding the brain.

The reas
Jul 02, 2008 Rochelle rated it really liked it
"Consider this: In one slow kiss, partners swap more than five million bacteria". Jennifer Ackerman had me when she shared that fact on page 56. That was one little morsel of information about the myriad of intricacies that make up our human body. Believe me, there were many more, and not just about us, but about animals as well. Did you know dolphins sleep with one half of their brain at a time while the other stays active? Or, did you know that we have only sixteen thousand "hair" cells in our ...more
Feb 26, 2008 Maria rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes the other Ackerman
Despite the sensual cover and the title's first word, this book is really for the geek who is interested in the intricacies of how the human body works.

I picked up this book b/c I thought it was by DIANE Ackerman, the author of other similar and popular non-fiction books, e.g. A Natural History of the Senses. Perhaps these Ackermans are sisters w/ Jennifer being the more responsible, staid older one and Diane the rambunctious and playful little sister. Regardless, I really enjoyed reading it.

Sep 26, 2008 Krista rated it really liked it
This is one of those books that has so many little interesting scientific tidbits, presented in an easy-to-comprehend fashion, that you find yourself reading it aloud to whomever is sitting next to you (which was quite popular at the coffee shop ... but I digress).

I found myself wanting more detail sometimes but knew that more detail would have probably caused me to glaze over and drool out of inability to understand high-level scientific concepts.

The chapter on natural human stressors and our m
Apr 09, 2010 Heather rated it liked it
Interesting series of factoids about the body, especially relating to Circadian rhythms. A little too rapid of a series of facts to be able to really get into it, but fascinating nonetheless.

The last chapter sticks in my mind the most--shift work and artificial light wreak havoc on people's bodies. People who are exposed to too much light have decreased melatonin production. Melatonin is what makes us sleepy and also regulates the growth of cells, including cancer cells. A study that the author
Sep 28, 2015 Deborah rated it it was amazing
I have read and reread this book numerous times. I just wish all doctors had to read this book. It has some very good information for things that are relevant to daily life as far as why things are the way they are, and some thoughts on better health (i.e. best time to take cancer treatments based on the types of cancer you may have). Each chapter is making progress through a day. Very fascinating.
May 12, 2009 Yofish rated it really liked it
Recommended to Yofish by: Yale Magazine
Writer (non-scientist) tries to examine all the science--especially new stuff--known about the body. She sort of organizes it in the form of going through a day. Waking up, eating, post-lunch food coma. Reads pretty well. Sometimes I do wish she had gone into more detail, but she seemed more interested in breadth than depth. (But really, the book was only 200 pages--surely there was plenty of room for more without it seeming like padding.) She seemed particularly enamored of the ideas about the ...more
Jan 14, 2015 Shannon rated it liked it
I highly recommend this book for the curious, but not too research-oriented reader. It is a nice, quick-read introduction to the body and daily functions, though it is lacking in depth. It provides the reader with fun, informative tidbits in a "day-in-the-life-of" fashion intermingled with an autobiographical tone and leads you to doors full of fascinating,in-depth investigation, though it does not necessarily open them up for you. This will, with any luck, encourage readers to search beyond the ...more
Apr 11, 2008 Anne rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, borrowed
This is such a fun read! I like science, but I don't like TOO much detail -- I am after all a liberal arts major. But I am also interested in science, and have a long tradition of watching Nature, Nova, Cosmos... If it's been on PBS and is about science and/or natural history, I've probably seen it and read the companion book.

Ackerman has a comfortable writing style, and a great sense of humor as well. She brings in fascinating new research in how our bodies work without overwhelming the reader
Aug 22, 2014 Nathan rated it liked it
There wasn't really too much in this book that I didn't already know. However, I think that Ackerman laid everything out fairly well. I would have liked to see more detail about some somatic processes but for the run-of-the-mill science reader, this book does the job.
Apr 11, 2010 Lindsay rated it liked it
I bought this book last year because I wanted to break free from Fiction reading, and read something that I could learn from. But man, Nonfiction is so boring. There was some interesting points in this book, each chapter is about how your body deals with either waking up in the moring, lunch, why you feel sleepy after lunch, what happens when you have a drink, sex, why a cold feels worse at night than during the rest of the day, etc. The author inserted stories from her own life which made it a ...more
Cody Sexton
Feb 16, 2014 Cody Sexton marked it as eighty-sixed
I couldn't bring myself to finish this book. Why? Honestly, because it was carelessly chosen for want of something to read. I believe Theodore Roosevelt got it right when he said that, "A book must be interesting to the particular reader at that particular time."
Mar 25, 2011 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This book delivers exactly what it promises: interesting glimpses of the mysterious and beautiful inner workings of the healthy human body, but I didn't expect it to be so beautifully written. The author's writing is smooth, elegant, and a pleasure to read. She knows how to craft a good sentence.

Despite the fact that this is a book describing human biology and chemistry, it is definitely written for the casual reader. I found the information fascinating, and I enjoyed the hour-by-hour format. M
Apr 21, 2015 Laura rated it liked it
Interesting read about different body processes very loosely organized by time of day. It's basically a bunch of fun facts about your body. I did find the format abut tedious by the end but it's accessible and enjoyable overall. 3.5 stars
Jan 06, 2014 Lyra rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book while having some interesting if even useful knowledge at times is also a wreck. The author repeatdly goes off on tangents and never returns to the main point. She has chapters that denote the time of day she's writing about, but they are more like brief stopping points in between tidbits about the human body she finds interesting or noteworthy. The book is horribly mistitled and has no collective premise. It's less a day in the life of your body and more sometimes stuff like this can ...more
Eric Bennett
Apr 16, 2008 Eric Bennett rated it really liked it
Recommended to Eric by: Psychology Today Magazine
Shelves: science-read
Interesting look at the science of everyday life from waking in the morning to sleeping at night. Ackerman covers many topics on what happens physiologically and psychologically to a person throughout the day while backing up these discussions from references from scientic studies. The format of the book is great, with each chapter starting a different portion of the day. My only real qualm is that for a book with sex as the first thing in the title, there is little talk of it, while there is PL ...more
Fernando del Alamo
Oct 24, 2014 Fernando del Alamo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
"Un día en la vida del cuerpo humano", es el título en castellano de este libro. Un gran libro, muy entretenido e informativo que se dedica a das una vuelta por las actividades del cuerpo humano desde que nos despertamos por la mañana hasta que nos vamos a dormir. Trata de diversos temas como los ritmos circadianos, la digestión, la circulación, etc. Un libro que habla de montones de diferentes estudios científicos que se han hecho y citándolos todos al final, muchos de ellos de los que ni siqui ...more
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Jennifer Ackerman's most recent book is Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body. Her previous books include Chance in the House of Fate: A Natural History of Heredity, and Notes from the Shore. A contributor to National Geographic, The New York Times, and many other publications, her articles and essays have been included in several anthologies, among them Best American Science W ...more
More about Jennifer Ackerman...

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