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Sleep Science

Best Books About The Science of Sleep

Let’s crack open a book and learn more about the enchanting world of sleep.

5 minute read

SLEEP SCIENCE

Best books about the Science of Sleep

5 minute read
wonderful weighted weaves girl in napper red

Sleep, what a concept! Each night, our active bodies and minds gently wind down and retreat into an unconscious state for several hours. Some of us move about, snore, talk, or even walk in our sleep. Dreams give us an alternate reality to tune into each night – if you can remember them, that is.

With the average person spending nearly 1/3 of their life asleep, there must be something deeper to it than just a way to rest and recharge.

Studying sleep has long been a hot topic among doctors, neuroscientists, and psychologists for centuries. Why do we sleep? What happens to the brain in sleep? How much sleep is healthy? What are dreams, and why do we dream?

The questions are endless, but with new research we are getting closer and closer to understanding our mysterious habit. As experts in getting the best sleep possible, the Bearaby team dove head first into the intriguing science of sleep while developing our weighted blankets. These are some of the most interesting books on sleep we’ve come across to help us all understand the bigger picture. Let’s crack open a book and learn more about the enchanting world of sleep.


Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker


Matthew Walker, a neuroscientist and professor, sheds light on the immense power of sleep in Why We Sleep. Science reveals that biology, of course, requires that we sleep to continue to function normally. But Walker goes deeper into how we sleep, when we sleep (are you a night owl or an early bird? Genetics might be to blame), and why we sleep (perhaps more than just survival).

Why we sleep Matthew Walker Bearaby

Walker also sheds light on how our cultural sleep norms are actually working against us. The majority of us are living our lives in tune with business – not our natural circadian cycles. Over time, these habits have changed the way we sleep and even our health and life expectancy (spoiler: it’s usually for the worse).

Don’t worry, Why We Sleep is not entirely focused on how our bad sleeping habits are undermining our health and happiness. Realization is the first step to revolution.

Understanding why we sleep – and why we should prioritize sleep – is great, but could we actually use our sleep to get ahead in life? Could we wire our brains and program our sleep to make us healthier, slimmer, smarter, or even more personable? Through mastering our sleep cycles, engaging with our dreams, and taking back this mysterious 1/3 of our lives, we might just change everything.


SNOOZE: The Lost Art of Sleep by Michael McGirr


If you’re more interested in the history, culture, and meaning of sleep through time, curl up under your Bearaby weighted blanket with SNOOZE: The Lost Art of Sleep. Through personal anecdotes and historical accounts, we ponder the purpose, beauty, and art of our sleeping ritual.

You’ll discover the sleep habits of Ancient Greece, a few celebrity struggles, understand our caffeine and internet addictions, and maybe even find some inspiration for taking sleep a little more seriously at home.

SNOOZE is less of a scientific paper and more of a light-hearted story about our precious sleep – and lack thereof. We dive into the brains of artists who never sleep as well as those who never left their beds. We explore sleep disorders, aids, and stimulants.

SNOOZE is less of a scientific paper and more of a light-hearted story about our precious sleep – and lack thereof. We dive into the brains of artists who never sleep as well as those who never left their beds. We explore sleep disorders, aids, and stimulants.


The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington


The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington is an easily digestible overview of sleeping habits, how our culture has redefined sleep norms, and what we can do about it! Huffington has struggled with insomnia herself but has used some tried and true lifestyle changes to overcome her sleepless nights.

In this book, Huffington affirms all the negative impacts of insomnia and lack of sleep with specific attention on cultural, societal, and relationship factors. Interviews with experts rounds out the book to help us understand the health implications of insomnia while Huffington provides her own tricks and ideas to “romance” sleep. How can we encourage not only healthy sleep routines but a healthy relationship with sleep itself?

The Sleep Revolution Bearby Arianna Huffinton

The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep is Broken and How to Fix It by Dr. W. Chris Winter, M.D.


W. Chris Winter, MD is somewhat of an expert on sleep. He’s been dubbed the “Sleep Whisperer” by Arianna Huffington, and helped tens of thousands of patients rest better. He’s the go-to sleep guru for professional athletes. He’s an international speaker and thought-leader in the world of sleep science and healthy lifestyles. The Sleep Solution is Dr. Winter’s manual for self sleep-discovery and a must-read for anyone who struggles with insomnia.

Between the covers of The Sleep Solution you’ll find a whole new understanding of sleep and a healthy dose of empowerment in getting the sleep you deserve. You will learn how daily habits like food, light, and activities affect sleep, the truth about sleeping pills, how to nap like a champ, the value of great sleep, and how to get it. This book not only provides us with helpful tips to improve our sleep, but positively shifts our attitude and approach to sleep in general.


Sleep: A Very Short Introduction by Steven W. Lockley


As promised, Sleep: A Very Short Introduction is, in fact, a quick and to-the-point read on the topic of sleep science. This book is perfect for anyone wanting to get a brief, yet information-packed introduction to what scientists currently understand about sleep.

Lockley covers both the science of sleep itself, as well as medical conditions related to sleep such as night terrors, bedwetting, sleep walking, and more. Unlike the other books in this review, this one maintains its focus solely on sleep science and reads like a scientific journal. Not a bad one to have at hand on a sleepless night!


Read yourself to sleep


While we love to read about sleep science and understand more about this mysterious phenomenon of daily life, we also love to use reading to help us drift off into a peaceful sleep. Reading is one of the best things you can do before bed to help your mind release any leftover worries from the day and prepare for a journey into dreamland.

Readin by Bearaby

Did you know?
When in REM sleep, your brain is almost as active as when you’re awake.

In fact, studies have shown that reading before bed can actually reduce stress levels by up to 68%. Reading a book (not an e-book!) can also help us avoid blue light from our screens, which can disrupt the body’s production of melatonin.

Book choice is an important factor when it comes to reading before bed. Avoid business or work reading as that will stimulate your brain and likely prevent a peaceful sleep. Instead, keep it lighthearted and opt for easy fiction reads or self-help. Get cozy under your weighted blanket with a good read and enjoy some much-needed restorative sleep.


Bearassentials

• Whether you’re a sleep lover or insomniac, understanding sleep science can help you make the most out of your slumber.


• Prefer science over story? Choose Why We Sleep or Sleep: A Very Short Introduction to begin your studies in snoozing. History or personal anecdotes more your style? Choose SNOOZE or The Sleep Revolution.


• Reading under your weighted blanket is a sure-fire way to reduce restlessness and get to sleep.

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Did you know?
In 2019, about 43.1 billion tons of CO2 from human activities were emitted into the atmosphere.


THE LAY LOW

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