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Why We Sleep

Written by Matthew Walker, "Why We Sleep" describes the importance of sleep for your creativity, problem solving, decision-making, learning, memory, emotional well-being, health and your life span.

We can summarize the entire book with one simple advice: "the shorter your sleep, the shorter your life span".

Below, are my favorite quotes from the book:

Sadly, human beings are in fact the only species that will deliberately deprive themselves of sleep without legitimate gain.

No matter what vantage point you take, sleep would appear to be the most foolish of biological phenomena. When you are asleep, you cannot gather food. You cannot socialize. You cannot find a mate and reproduce. You cannot nurture or protect your offspring. Worse still, sleep leaves you vulnerable to predation. Sleep is surely one of the most puzzling of all human behaviors.

sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health each day — Mother Nature’s best effort yet at contra-death.

Why did life ever bother to wake up? Considering how biologically damaging the state of wakefulness can often be, that is the true evolutionary puzzle here, not sleep.

Adopt this perspective, and we can pose a very different theory: sleep was the first state of life on this planet, and it was from sleep that wakefulness emerged.

Practice does not make perfect. It is practice, followed by a night of sleep, that leads to perfection.

The brain can never recover all the sleep it has been deprived of. We cannot accumulate a debt without penalty, nor can we repay that sleep debt at a later time.

Under-slept employees are not only less productive, less motivated, less creative, less happy, and lazier, but they are also more unethical.

“I’ve always loathed the necessity of sleep. Like death, it puts even the most powerful men on their backs.”