Keith
Keith asked:

Can this book tell me how to GET to sleep and STAY asleep for the "required" 7-8 hours?

Simon Harvey No, it's not really a how-to guide. There is a two-page appendix which gives tips for getting consistently good sleep, based on the information from the National Sleep Foundation.

That said, it's easy to draw conclusions from the way that light and heat have an impact.

But the biggest effect is that reading the book will convince you that you really should get all the sleep you need. You'll make sure of an early night.
Kamelia "Should his eyelids fail to close, Walker admits that he can be a touch 'Woody Allen-neurotic'. When, for instance, he came to London over the summer, he found himself jet-lagged and wide awake in his hotel room at two o’clock in the morning. His problem then, as always in these situations, was that he knew too much. His brain began to race. 'I thought: my orexin isn’t being turned off, the sensory gate of my thalamus is wedged open, my dorsolateral prefrontal cortex won’t shut down, and my melatonin surge won’t happen for another seven hours.' What did he do? In the end, it seems, even world experts in sleep act just like the rest of us when struck by the curse of insomnia. He turned on a light and read for a while."

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandst...


;p
Megan I agree with Simon that the book is not really a how-to-guide or self help book. But, the book is pretty comprehensive on the science of sleep. Based on the research he presents and discusses, you could easily draw your own conclusions about what you might be doing (or not doing) to impact your sleep quantity and quality.
Hampus Wessman The book is not written as a how-to guide, but it does indeed discuss ways to improve sleep and what affects the ability to sleep. This is not only dealt with in the appendix but throughout the whole book. There's a whole chapter that discusses everything from caffeine and alcohol to artificial light and temperature and how these can interfere with sleep. Jet lag and circadian rhythms are also discussed at length.

All in all, I disagree with some others here and would say that yes, the book covers this comprehensively (and also offers a condensed list of specific action items in the appendix). The discussion is focused on understanding the underlying causes and science, but also gives concrete recommendations in many places.
Yzabel Ginsberg Yes and no. It does give a few tips, by no means exhaustive. However, if you're like me, understanding the whys behind lack of sleep may help in reevaluating what is currently preventing you from sleeping, and pointing you in appropriate directions.
Gina Herald The only self-help book for sleep I've found useful is a good dousing of Kant.
Nina It can as it covers a chapter on CBT-I (cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia), but overall the book focusses on the WHY rather than the HOW. If you are interested in the latter only I'd look into books specifically on that, and/or a therapist trained in it.
Michael Yes. See appendix of book.
Will Saponaro I think many of these answers are not clear. One of the core things the book discusses is that frequently the goal is not to CAUSE sleep, only the brain can do that. The goal is to create conditions that ALLOW the brain to generate sleep. His five sins of the industrialized world are a good place to start!
1) Alcohol may sedate but will dramatically reduce the quality of sleep.
2) Caffeine takes a long time to metabolize fully (typically 12-14 hours!)
3) Light prevents the release of melatonin (the hormone that gets sleep going), blue light 4x so. Leave the lights off after sunset or as low as possible and put the screens away.
4) Sleep is best achieved habitually so keep the same wake and sleep schedule even on weekends. Which allows for:
5) Reduce or eliminate the use of alarm clocks because being awoken is Very stressful on the system, snooze is your enemy so wake up naturally.

Without knowing your situation I can't know your reasons for asking this question. I hope you are merely one of the many in our society who can improve sleep by adhering to more of these rules.

To say this book doesn't provide practical advice is, in my opinion, a disservice to how remarkably down to earth and actionable Walker's advice is.
Jeremy Walker says if you want one takeaway it's to set a nightly alarm for going to sleep, and to stick to that every day. I have started doing this.
Jane Sorensen Keith the "required" is a misconception that the book might help you correct.

Chances are good, if you're having trouble getting and staying asleep for 7-8 hours, you might not actually need 7-8 hours. Try 6.5, then 6. It will vary at different times of the year. Lately I've discovered that I fall asleep fast and stay asleep until my 7 AM alarm if I go to bed at 1 AM. I'll stay in bed and doze another 30-40 minutes, but it beats being awake for a full hour+ at 4 AM and then sleep in until 8.
Manik Patil Yes, best practices from National Sleep Foundation are shared in the book.

However, for a how-to guide, you may read Sleep Smarter by Shawn Steven.

The science shared in Why We Sleep book is latest and provides an empirical edge.
Chris I'd answer yes to this. It has twelve tips at the end that are designed to improve your 'sleep hygiene', and it definitely has enough information to point you in the right direction of making wider improvements.
Hung Nguyen Actually, the few last pages has 12 tips to maintain good sleep pattern
Mareike Not directly, but by the knowledge he conveys in this book, you can figure it out and see, what's best for you. He summarises some of the effects of different environmental stimuli, such as blue-light (smart phones, computer), alcohol and caffeine. His conclusion is "abstain from them", basically. A regular schedule helps, too.
Jerimiah Gentry It's more of a strongly evidence based "Silent Spring" for sleep.
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