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

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  855 ratings  ·  180 reviews
Acclaimed science writer Jennifer Ackerman lends her keen eye and lively voice to this marvellous 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 hav
Hardcover, 253 pages
Published October 2nd 2007 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2007)
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Average rating 3.58  · 
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Jun 17, 2009 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
Oct 30, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Dec 12, 2008 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
Mar 04, 2008 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
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: science
Smart little book with tons of interesting studies and factoids about the human body.
Holly Woodward
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this in-depth look at the daily acts we take for granted.
Sarah O'Brien
Oct 11, 2011 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
Aug 19, 2009 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
Oct 22, 2008 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 . . .
Dec 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is a very interesting book so far, I'm almost finished!
Jan 06, 2009 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.
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a great read! The author does a wonderful job of summarizing and explaining concepts related to chronobiology. (Hint, there's a very good reason why I am writing this review at 3:00pm!!) My recommendation, dear readers, is that you read this book. You will think about yourself and others around you in a completely different way!
Joseph Slape
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well written

Good book about the actions of the body, written in simple layman's terms. Focus is on the daily circadian rhythm and how this rhythm causes changes throughout the body.
Annika Dyck
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: five-star, nonfiction
This book was absolutely fascinating! Basically if you’re looking for an insight on your body works on a daily basis, read this book! I also found that it was the perfect balance between somewhat narrative nonfiction, or at least nonfiction for the casual reader, and scientific knowledge.
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great book, I learned so much and had so much fun reading it!
Ami Iida
Dec 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Human body metabolism day-to-day.
Apr 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Few interesting tidbits surrounded by a lot if dullness.
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Easy to read book on an extremely interesting subject.
A very pleasant read. Enlightening and simplifying.
Oct 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little more matter of fact than I was thinking itd be, but cool to understand the stages your body goes thru, and why, every day!
Wan Peter
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health
All the ingredient of how to look at our body, mind, soul is well said, this book will change our way our bodies live daily. Enriching, entertaining.
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fun, approachable factoids on the workings of the human body.
Educating Drew
Dec 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 when t ...more
Dec 14, 2011 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
Terri Ann
Mar 27, 2008 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
Jan 09, 2008 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
Jan 16, 2013 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
Feb 12, 2008 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
Feb 26, 2008 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.

Mar 29, 2010 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
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Jennifer Ackerman has been writing about science and nature for three decades. She is the author of eight books, including the New York Times bestseller, The Genius of Birds, which has been translated into more than twenty languages. Her articles and essays have appeared in Scientific American, National Geographic, The New York Times, and many other publications. Ackerman is the recipient of a Nat ...more

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