Kamil's Reviews > Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
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bookshelves: 2018, non-fiction, audiobook

There's an overwhelmingly positive experience I had with this book. For most of it, Walker talks about his research (and his colleagues) surrounding the sleep and those arguments are fascinating and convincing.
However, there are moments, mostly closer to the end of it, when you feel like you are listening to a sales pitch. First of all, I dislike when somebody uses percentage without reference, ie "it's a 150% growth" as it might easily mean it was 1% in the past and now is 2,5% (150% growth), which in some situation might be significant in others not at all. Second, the seek for real-life examples of dangers of the lack of sleep was on the border of simplification, as even though I didn't research it I'm pretty sure (due to the simple application of logic) that most outcomes are caused by a conglomerate of factors. When he talked about a drop in teenage accidents when school hours were moved one hour later, I couldn't stop thinking, that maybe it's not all necessary due to the fact that they drive better being well rested. For sure that's a factor but maybe if school started at 9, the hour most of the office jobs start, maybe some parents would drive the kids to school. This is just an example but that was bugging me.
When he mentions in passing Chernobyl disaster and blames it on lack of sleep, I was thinking it's such a shame that he sells himself so short, as this book is a great scientific study of sleep while this argument is just bananas. Sure tiredness played some role but the disaster was mostly caused by inherent design flaws and violation of safety measures.
All in all, a good read, just bear in mind he probably has a good intention in mind but is sometimes a bit blinded by his agenda.
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Reading Progress

May 26, 2018 – Started Reading
May 26, 2018 – Shelved
May 26, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018
May 26, 2018 – Finished Reading
June 1, 2018 – Shelved as: non-fiction
December 20, 2018 – Shelved as: audiobook

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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James Agreed, he does seem to degrade in objective consistency towards the last few chapters, perhaps due to getting lesser amounts of sleep?

Fré James: If there is one person NOT getting lesser amounts of sleep, it will be the author of this book. So there has to be another reason I guess.

James Fré: Haha I know, a mere jest :P

message 4: by Diana (new)

Diana It is great that you mention the Chernobyl disaster because it does give me the feeling that the author is really obsessed with sleep to the point of seeing the lack of it in every fault made. I hoped this book would be more scientific and propose some more or less single theory that will explain why we sleep. I don't want to be harsh but I knew ages ago that the lack of sleep is dangerous and "within the brain, sleep enriches our ability to learn, memorize, and make logical decisions".

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