Book Synopsis: "Why We Sleep" by Matthew Walker

Last updated Feb. 27, 2019, 6:18 p.m. by Author

Tags: gym health fitness book synopsis


The following post is the first one in a (hopefully) longer series of reviews and synopses of the books I have read and found worthy of putting some time and effort to extract the most important findings and gather them here.

The summary does not strive to be as comprehensive as possible but it rather sums up some of the more interesting point made in the book. That said it is recommended to read the whole book because it is much more comprehensive than what you can read below and because it is really worth it - at least the first four chapters which describe what is sleep and why we need to sleep.


So the first and the most important finding of the book is that you sleep too few hours a night. If you routinely sleep less than 7 hours per night, you should increase it to around 8 hours and this is non negotiable.

Sleeping less than necessary causes a plethora of health issues and has a devastating influence on your body and mind, which in turn lower your quality of life, make you live shorter, age faster, decrease your productivity, make you earn less money and (to put it bluntly) become stupid.

Moving on to some details, there are two factors that determine when you want to sleep and when you want to be awake. The first factor is a signal beamed out from your internal twenty-four-hour clock located deep within your brain. The clock creates a cycling, day-night rhythm that makes you feel tired or alert at regular times of night and day, respectively. The second factor is a chemical substance that builds up in your brain and creates a “sleep pressure.” The longer you’ve been awake, the more that chemical sleep pressure accumulates, and consequentially, the sleepier you feel. It is the balance between these two factors that dictates how alert and attentive you are during the day, when you will feel tired and ready for bed at night, and, in part, how well you will sleep.

Everyone has his own circadian (daily) rhythm - a biological clock which looks like this:


Source: "Why We Sleep" by Matthew Walker

Everyone has a different one, but the one thing is common across all of people: it continues to works this way whether or not you have slept. This also explains why after a sleepless night you may feel quite ok during the day - your circadian rhythm increases your body temperature and makes you more attentive.

Based on the above one can conclude that the common wisdom claiming that there are 'night owls' and 'morning larks' is true. It one would be right. The evening types make about 30% of population, the morning types make about 40% of population, and the remaining 30% is somewhere between those two types.

By trying to suppress your personal rhythm you hurt yourself, both physically and mentally. That's why it is important to determine your own rhythm and try to stick to it if possible.

The other factor is melatonin, and its blood level during a day looks like this:


Source: "Why We Sleep" by Matthew Walker

Melatonin helps regulate the timing of when sleep occurs by systemically signaling darkness throughout the organism. That is why it is very important to sleep in a dark room and to avoid blue light sources before going to sleep.

There are two phases of sleep: REM (rapid eye movements) and NREM (non REM), each of them having its own purpose and each of them being necessary to remain healthy. The sleep cycle looks like this:


Source: "Why We Sleep" by Matthew Walker

A key function of deep NREM sleep, which predominates early in the night, is to do the work of weeding out and removing unnecessary neural connections. In contrast, the dreaming stage of REM sleep, which prevails later in the night, plays a role in strengthening those connections.

In the context of injury, there is no better risk-mitigating insurance policy for these investments than sleep. Described in a research study of competitive young athletes in 2014, you can see that a chronic lack of sleep across the season predicted a massively higher risk of injury:


Source: "Why We Sleep" by Matthew Walker

The relationship between decreasing hours of sleep and increasing mortality risk of an accident is not linear, but instead exponentially mushrooms:


Source: "Why We Sleep" by Matthew Walker

Epidemiological studies have established that people who sleep less are the same individuals who are more likely to be overweight or obese. Indeed, if you simply plot the reduction in sleep time (dotted line) over the past fifty years on the same graph as the rise in obesity rates across the same time period (solid line) the relationship is clear:


Source: "Why We Sleep" by Matthew Walker

Evidence suggests that the relationship between sleep and mortality risk is not linear, such that the more and more sleep you get, the lower and lower your death risk (and vice versa). Rather, there is an upward hook in death risk once the average sleep amount passes nine hours, resulting in a tilted backward J shape. One point is important to bear in mind - usually the people who are sick sleep more because of their immune system that activates more sleep.

In a study of 10,000 patients taking sleeping pills, the vast majority of whom were taking zolpidem (brand name Ambien), though some were taking temazepam (brand name Restoril), which were contrasted them with 20,000 very well matched individuals of similar age, race, gender, and background, but who were not taking sleeping pills the following resulted:


Source: "Why We Sleep" by Matthew Walker

Twelve Tips for Healthy Sleep:

  • Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. As creatures of habit, people have a hard time adjusting to changes in sleep patterns. Sleeping later on weekends won't fully make up for a lack of sleep during the week and will make it harder to wake up early on Monday morning. Ths is the most important of the tips presented here.
  • Exercise is great, but not too late in the day. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes on most days but not later than 2—3 hours before your bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine. Coffee, colas, certain teas, and chocolate contain the stimulant caffeine, and its effects can take as long as 8 hours to wear off fully. Therefore, a cup of coffee in the late afternoon can make it hard for you to fall asleep at night. Nicotine is also a stimulant, often causing smokers to sleep only very lightly. In addition, smokers often wake up too early in the morning because of nicotine withdrawal.
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed. Having a "nightcap" or alcoholic beverage before sleep may help you relax, but heavy use robs you of deep sleep and REM sleep, keeping you in the lighter stages of sleep. Heavy alcohol ingestion also may contribute to impairment in breathing at night. You also tend to wake up in the middle of the night when the effects of the alcohol have worn off.
  • Avoid large meals and beverages late at night. A light snack is okay, but a large meal can cause indigestion that interferes with sleep. Drinking too many fluids at night can cause frequent awakenings to urinate.
  • If possible, avoid medicines that delay or disrupt your sleep. Some commonly prescribed heart, blood pressure, or asthma medications, as well as some over-the-counter and herbal remedies for coughs, colds, or allergies, can disrupt sleep patterns. If you have trouble sleeping, talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist to see whether any drugs you're taking might be contributing to your insomnia and ask whether they can be taken at other times during the day or early in the evening.
  • Don't take naps after 3 p.m. Naps can help make up for lost sleep, but late afternoon naps can make it harder to fall asleep at night.
  • Relax before bed. Don't overschedule your day so that no time is left for unwinding. A relaxing activity, such as reading or listening to music, should be part of your bedtime ritual.
  • Take a hot bath before bed. The drop in body temperature after getting out of the bath may help you feel sleepy, and the bath can help you relax and slow down so you're more ready to sleep.
  • Have a good sleeping environment. Get rid of anything in your bedroom that might distract you from sleep, such as noises, bright lights, an uncomfortable bed, or warm temperatures. You sleep better if the temperature in the room is kept on the cool side. A TV, cell phone, or computer in the bedroom can be a distraction and deprive you of needed sleep. Having a comfortable mattress and pillow can help promote a good night's sleep. Individuals who have insomnia often watch the clock. Turn the clock's face out of view so you don't worry about the time while trying to fall asleep.
  • Have the right sunlight exposure. Daylight is key to regulating daily sleep patterns. Try to get outside in natural sunlight for at least 30 minutes each day. If possible, wake up with the sun or use very bright lights in the morning. Sleep experts recommend that, if you have problems falling asleep, you should get an hour of exposure to morning sunlight and turn down the lights before bedtime.
  • Don't lie in bed awake. If you find yourself still awake after staying in bed for more than 20 minutes or if you are starting to feel anxious or worried, get up and do some relaxing activity until you feel sleepy. The anxiety of not being able to sleep can make it harder to fall asleep.
  • See a health professional if you continue to have trouble sleeping. If you consistently find it difficult to fall or stay asleep and/or feel tired or not well rested during the day despite spending enough time in bed at night, you may have a sleep disorder. Your family healthcare provider or a sleep specialist should be able to help you, and it is important to rule out other health or emotional problems that may be disturbing your sleep.

Source: https://medlineplus.gov/magazine/issues/summer12/articles/summer12pg20.html


Similar posts:

Weight Tracker and Calorie Analysis

Book Synopsis: "Mastering the Market Cycle" by Howard Marks

Book Synopsis: "Factfulness" by Hans Rosling

70 comments

Comments:

Comment 1 by File Tray Price Nov. 11, 2020, 11:02 p.m.

File Tray Price

Comment 2 by Glass Display Cabinet Price Nov. 12, 2020, 2:28 a.m.

Glass Display Cabinet Price

Comment 3 by 75m3/H Concrete Batching Plant Nov. 12, 2020, 5:23 a.m.

75m3/H Concrete Batching Plant

Comment 4 by kyrie 5 spongebob Nov. 12, 2020, 6:17 a.m.

I simply wished to appreciate you all over again. I'm not certain the things that I would've taken care of without the actual thoughts shown by you relating to such a subject. It was actually an absolute alarming difficulty in my position, however , taking a look at this professional manner you treated it took me to weep with delight. I'm just grateful for the work and thus believe you comprehend what an amazing job you happen to be undertaking training people today with the aid of your web site. I am sure you've never met all of us. [url=http://www.kyrie5spongebob.us]kyrie 5 spongebob[/url]

Comment 5 by Drag Chain Nov. 12, 2020, 7:01 a.m.

Drag Chain

Comment 6 by China PP Woven Bags Nov. 12, 2020, 7:33 a.m.

China PP Woven Bags

Comment 7 by 100w Fiber Laser Cutting Machine Nov. 12, 2020, 9:44 a.m.

100w Fiber Laser Cutting Machine

Comment 8 by Head-Mounted Kn95 Mask Machine Nov. 12, 2020, 11:26 a.m.

Head-Mounted Kn95 Mask Machine

Comment 9 by 赌厅网投 Nov. 12, 2020, 3:31 p.m.

日本性爱直播

Comment 10 by 欧美牲交AⅤ Nov. 12, 2020, 5:51 p.m.

欧美牲交AⅤ

Comment 11 by Home Brewing Accessories Nov. 12, 2020, 9:12 p.m.

Home Brewing Accessories

Comment 12 by Products Nov. 12, 2020, 11:27 p.m.

Products

Comment 13 by Seamless Aluminum Cylinder Tubes Nov. 13, 2020, 1:53 a.m.

Seamless Aluminum Cylinder Tubes Supplier

Comment 14 by China Golf Artificial Grass Carpet Nov. 13, 2020, 5:38 a.m.

Golf Artificial Grass Carpet Supplier

Comment 15 by Bronze Parrot Sculpture Nov. 13, 2020, 7:18 a.m.

China Bronze Parrot Sculpture

Comment 16 by Plastic Nylon Gasket Supplier Nov. 13, 2020, 7:55 a.m.

Plastic Nylon Gasket

Comment 17 by Haky Guardrail Frame Nov. 13, 2020, 7:44 p.m.

Haky Guardrail Frame

Comment 18 by Oxford Cloth Computer Bag Nov. 14, 2020, 1:16 a.m.

Oxford Cloth Computer Bag

Comment 19 by Centrifugal Fuel Pump Nov. 14, 2020, 1:54 a.m.

Centrifugal Fuel Pump

Comment 20 by Lcd Battery Factory Nov. 14, 2020, 5:22 a.m.

Lcd Battery Factory

Comment 21 by Heat Resistant Glass Price Nov. 14, 2020, 9:34 a.m.

Heat Resistant Glass Price

Comment 22 by Food Drying Machine Conveyor Nov. 14, 2020, 7:06 p.m.

Food Drying Machine Conveyor

Comment 23 by 3d Laser Scanning Services In Chile Nov. 14, 2020, 11:23 p.m.

3d Laser Scanning Services In Chile

Comment 24 by Animal Cupboard Knobs Nov. 15, 2020, 1:54 a.m.

Animal Cupboard Knobs

Comment 25 by 在线赌场游戏 Nov. 15, 2020, 5:21 a.m.

日本性爱直播

Comment 26 by 在线赌场游戏 Nov. 15, 2020, 7:04 a.m.

贝博足彩

Comment 27 by Aluminum Lotion Pump Nov. 15, 2020, 7:51 a.m.

Aluminum Lotion Pump

Comment 28 by Rf Machine Nov. 15, 2020, 9:43 a.m.

Rf Machine

Comment 29 by Designer Cat Eye Sunglasses Nov. 15, 2020, 3:22 p.m.

Designer Cat Eye Sunglasses

Comment 30 by lebron 17 Nov. 15, 2020, 5:28 p.m.

I needed to post you one bit of remark to be able to thank you over again just for the superb strategies you have shared on this page. This has been seriously generous with people like you to deliver easily precisely what a number of us would have sold as an electronic book in order to make some dough for their own end, particularly considering that you could possibly have done it if you ever decided. These good ideas likewise acted to become a great way to be certain that many people have the same dream the same as my own to know the truth good deal more in respect of this issue. I think there are some more enjoyable opportunities in the future for individuals that scan your website. lebron 17 [url=http://www.lebron17s.us]lebron 17[/url]

Comment 31 by China Isuzu Generator Nov. 15, 2020, 7:25 p.m.

China Isuzu Generator

Comment 32 by Auto Water Drain Air Compressor Supplier Nov. 16, 2020, 1:12 a.m.

China Auto Water Drain Air Compressor

Comment 33 by 60g Ozone Generator For Fish Farm Nov. 16, 2020, 1:44 a.m.

China 60g Ozone Generator For Fish Farm

Comment 34 by China China Clay Dinner Set Nov. 16, 2020, 3:17 a.m.

China Clay Dinner Set

Comment 35 by Engine Air Supply Supplier Nov. 16, 2020, 3:51 a.m.

China Engine Air Supply

Comment 36 by fold container house Supplier Nov. 16, 2020, 5:28 a.m.

fold container house Supplier

Comment 37 by China Separate Slip Rings Nov. 16, 2020, 7:06 a.m.

China Separate Slip Rings

Comment 38 by Filling Machine Nov. 16, 2020, 7:40 a.m.

Filling Machine

Comment 39 by Apron Retro Nov. 16, 2020, 9:15 a.m.

Apron Retro

Comment 40 by Over The Shoulder Bags Mens Nov. 16, 2020, 11:46 a.m.

Over The Shoulder Bags Mens

Comment 41 by Disposable Vinyl Gloves Nov. 16, 2020, 1:59 p.m.

Disposable Vinyl Gloves

Comment 42 by Jewelry Gift Ring Factory Nov. 16, 2020, 5:41 p.m.

Jewelry Gift Ring Factory

Comment 43 by Led Circuit Board Factory Nov. 16, 2020, 9:16 p.m.

Led Circuit Board Factory

Comment 44 by Fuan Lecom Electronic Co., Ltd. Nov. 17, 2020, 1:27 a.m.

Fuan Lecom Electronic Co., Ltd.

Comment 45 by 12v Shut Off Solenoid Valve Nov. 17, 2020, 9:30 a.m.

12v Shut Off Solenoid Valve

Comment 46 by Bathing Suits For Women Nov. 17, 2020, 11:17 a.m.

Bathing Suits For Women

Comment 47 by Affordable Laser Cutter Nov. 17, 2020, 1:11 p.m.

Affordable Laser Cutter

Comment 48 by Door Handle Stainless Steel Nov. 18, 2020, 2:07 a.m.

Door Handle Stainless Steel

Comment 49 by iso5211 3pc ball vavle Nov. 18, 2020, 3:53 a.m.

iso5211 3pc ball vavle

Comment 50 by china factory Nov. 18, 2020, 5:26 a.m.

china factory

Comment 51 by China 12v Impact Wrench Nov. 18, 2020, 7:39 a.m.

China 12v Impact Wrench

Comment 52 by Girls Handbag Nov. 18, 2020, 9:53 a.m.

Girls Handbag

Comment 53 by supreme hoodie Nov. 18, 2020, 12:32 p.m.

My spouse and i ended up being absolutely fortunate Raymond could finish up his survey with the precious recommendations he received in your site. It's not at all simplistic just to always be giving out guides which often other people might have been trying to sell. Therefore we discover we've got you to appreciate for this. The specific illustrations you made, the easy web site navigation, the relationships you aid to engender - it's everything great, and it is letting our son and our family know that that topic is entertaining, and that is very vital. Many thanks for the whole thing! supreme hoodie [url=http://www.supremeclothings.us.com]supreme hoodie[/url]

Comment 54 by Diaper Factory In China Supplier Nov. 19, 2020, 1:23 a.m.

China Diaper Factory In China

Comment 55 by China 48 Volt Dc Fan Nov. 19, 2020, 1:55 a.m.

China 48 Volt Dc Fan

Comment 56 by Body Kit For Sylphy Nov. 19, 2020, 5:03 a.m.

Body Kit For Sylphy

Comment 57 by Chinese Design Wallpaper Nov. 19, 2020, 7:12 a.m.

Chinese Design Wallpaper

Comment 58 by rdnmldtpl Nov. 19, 2020, 8:45 a.m.

Book Synopsis: "Why We Sleep" by Matthew Walker [url=http://www.gb342f76646wet7o14snf4awh5t571tfs.org/]urdnmldtpl[/url] rdnmldtpl http://www.gb342f76646wet7o14snf4awh5t571tfs.org/ ardnmldtpl

Comment 59 by Featured Nov. 19, 2020, 11:52 p.m.

Featured

Comment 60 by Aluminium Corner Profile Nov. 20, 2020, 5:21 a.m.

Aluminium Corner Profile

Comment 61 by High Performance Solar Panel Nov. 20, 2020, 11:55 a.m.

High Performance Solar Panel

Comment 62 by Embroidery Blank Patches Nov. 20, 2020, 5:57 p.m.

Embroidery Blank Patches

Comment 63 by Aluminum Cans For Sale Nov. 20, 2020, 11:50 p.m.

Aluminum Cans For Sale

Comment 64 by Crusher Machine Manufacturers Nov. 21, 2020, 3:13 a.m.

Crusher Machine Manufacturers

Comment 65 by All Samsung Smartphones Nov. 21, 2020, 7:59 a.m.

All Samsung Smartphones

Comment 66 by yeezy Nov. 21, 2020, 6:26 p.m.

Thank you for your whole hard work on this site. Debby takes pleasure in carrying out investigation and it is simple to grasp why. Most people notice all relating to the powerful manner you make effective thoughts on your website and as well as foster response from other individuals on that point while our simple princess has always been understanding so much. Enjoy the rest of the new year. You're the one performing a dazzling job. yeezy [url=http://www.yeezy-shoes.us.org]yeezy[/url]

Comment 67 by Clevis Grab Bend Hook Nov. 22, 2020, 7:27 a.m.

Clevis Grab Bend Hook

Comment 68 by -temperature Silicone Strip Nov. 22, 2020, 9:43 p.m.

-temperature Silicone Strip

Comment 69 by Ball Bearing Catalog Nov. 23, 2020, 5:30 p.m.

Ball Bearing Catalog

Comment 70 by 304 Steel Sheet Metal Nov. 23, 2020, 9:06 p.m.

304 Steel Sheet Metal

Add a new comment