Why We Sleep (Matthew Walker)

Main takeaways, Impressions & Quotes

Why We Sleep (Matthew Walker)

🚀 The Book in 3 Sentences

  1. In order to have a better performance and better health, we should sleep 7-9 hours
  2. Sleep is our superpower
  3. If we prioritise sleep over work hours, our work hours could be more productive

🎨 Impressions

This is one of my favourite books of all time, I have always known about the importance of sleep, but after reading this book, I started to take sleep really serious, making it the engine of my "productivity machine"

Who Should Read It?

I think everyone should read it, it is definitely directed to everyone, since all of us has to conmute to bed every single day. Maybe, it is a great way to introduce yourself to health-related topics, the way the author explains the topic makes it accesible to all of us.

☘️ How the Book Changed Me

  • It made me more aware of the importance of sleep
  • It made me realize how our society is priving us from enjoying better performance
  • It made me change my habits, now 7-9h of sleep for me are a must

✍️ My Top 3 Quotes

  • Based on epidemiological data, any adult sleeping an average of 6.75 hours a night would be predicted to live only into their early sixties
  • Going to bed and waking up at the same time is perhaps the single most effective way of helping improve your sleep
  • The loud-and-proud corporate mentality of sleeplessness as the model for success is evidentially wrong at every level of analysis we have explored

📒 Key Takeaways

Why we should go to bed and wake up at the same time

It all comes from the notion of circadian rhythm, which is simply your 24-hour rhythm. If we make it change constantly, by waking up at a different hour everyday of most of the days, it will not be able for our body to regulate our energy-levels.

The effect of caffeine on sleep

Caffeine blocks a substance in our brain called adenosine, which, in simple terms is the one that drives our urge for sleep. For instance, once you drink coffee, that substance will not affect you, which could be beneficial, unless you drink it when you are about or close to your sleeping window, in which case it will private you from sleeping properly

Caffeine has an average half-life of five to seven hours

Main benefits of sleeping 7-9h every night

It boosts memory retention. When slumbering, specifically on the NREM phase, short-term memories stored in the hippocampus are sent to the prefrontal cortex, which let (most of) them become a long-term ones

It helps preventing plenty of diseases, including:

  • Alzheimer's
  • Cancer
  • Schizophrenia

It improves athletic performance

After a good night of sleep, when you work out or practice a sport, you will experience an improvement on your performance, and talking about injuries (common enough pitfalls), it helps you forget them, optimising recovery.