Why I am Big on Sleep

I have always intuitively believe in the virtue of sleep.

I have never pulled an all-nighter. I (over-)prepare for stressful events (e.g. exams, major presentations) way in advance and then ease into a more restful state as the date approaches, including doing very little and sleeping a lot the day before.

I enjoy a good afternoon nap, sometimes at the protest of family members who believe “sleeping is for the weak”.

I know my speech slurred when I don’t get enough sleep — for a long time I thought my slurring was because English is my second language — and I am a lucid speaker (in a way that surprises myself) when I am fully rested.

I know many small health indicators like acne on my face and swollen lymph nodes in my underarm improve or go away completely after I get a good night sleep.

These are all subjective experience that may or may not apply to others. Or so I thought.

It turns out that sleep researchers have been studying, in a systematic way, all the things discussed above and much much more, and the research findings are summarised nicely in Matthew Walker’s book Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams.

This is one of those rare books that, I think, will actually change many aspects of your life for the better through some really simple life-style adjustments. I will go so far as to say you’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you know this book exists but still chose not read it!



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