We sleep a third of our lives, on average. I’ve always been interested in how to become more productive, more resilient and more creative – which has led me to read a lot of books on health and productivity. The last book I read on the subject, which honestly changed my life, was Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker.
Matthew Walker is a sleep expert and brain scientist that has spent over 20 years studying sleep. In the book, he talks about why we sleep and why sleep quality is so important. Good sleep quality can improve our memory or prevent depression and dementia, just to name a few benefits. If you sleep less less than six or seven hours on average per night that actually breaks down your immune system and doubles your risk of getting cancer.
Key take aways from Why We Sleep
- Sleep eight hours a night.
- Wake up at the same time every day.
- Sleep helps us process emotions and memories. When we are in REM sleep, the stage when we dream, parts of the brain that deal with thoughts, memory and emotions are activated.
- Sleep improves memory and learning ability.
- Deep sleep allows the brain to process all the information and impressions experienced, leading to better short- and long-term memory.
- Sleeping pills, alcohol and caffeine destroy the sleep cycle and prevent us from getting the quality sleep we need.
I sleep an average of eight hours a night. I avoid drinking coffee after lunch and measure my sleep quality using my Apple Watch. I defenetly recommend reading Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. It debunks many of the myths about sleep.