* what are REM/NREM, light and deep NREM sleep for?
* some fascinating study about lucid dreaming
* effects of coffein and sleep medication
* sleep hygiene tips
* some other things I can't recall right now
Yes, you can read about these things elsewhere, too, but I still think the book is a tremendous introduction to the subject.
But I don't have an academic interest in the subject, so the criticisms in the article do not matter much to me (except for some uneasy feeling about accuracy in general). If you're a student of medicine, cognitive sciences or whatever, you should probably get your introduction elsewhere anyway.
Why do you believe that his representation of research on REM/NREM, light and deep NREM sleep is scientifically accurate?
Why do you believe his representation of effects of coffein and sleep medication is scientifically accurate?
I cover this in sections 14.3 and 14.4: https://guzey.com/books/why-we-sleep/#appendix-common-object...
I read his book and one of the points he made was you could never "make up" missing sleep.
For example, if you pulled an all nighter, you couldn't make it up the next few days if you slept more. Basically the health effects of missing a day of sleep would affect you for the rest of your life.
That was a quite shocking. Were you able to find any information on whether he was exaggerating this?
It doesn't matter if some of the information is correct - once untrue things are peppered in, all facts from the source are suspect and who knows which incorrect facts your brain has.
You've clearly put a lot of time into your research as your post cites. But you don't have twenty years experience in the field. Why should we believe your analysis? Your criticisms could also be tangential or taking things out of context.
"Sleep or you will die"
That grabs readers' attention. While the hyperbolic tone of the book can be justified given that sleep is so misunderstood ... it does invite skepticism at the same time so I appreciate that the author of this article has done such a thorough lookup.
-- edited for clarity
Thanks for the write up. I enjoyed reading through it.
"Walker’s book has likely wasted thousands of hours of life and worsened the health of people who read it and took its recommendations at face value."
First part is dubious but second part, seriously? How can extra of sleep "worsen" the health of people?
People for whom sleep deprivation therapy would be helpful but who decide to avoid it due to Walker will have their health worsened by the book.
For a bit more speculative answer to this, see Section 14.1: https://guzey.com/books/why-we-sleep/#appendix-common-object...
There are good points in your analysis but shall we discount yours entirely as well for faults such as these?
There are measures to alleviate depression beyond sleep restriction, including therapy, e.g. CBT, shown to be highly effective. A case of one not being prescribed a brand of experimental therapy like sleep restriction is not tantamount to withholding therapy "someone needs".
If that were the case you ought to hold the vast majority of psychiatrists to that standard who opt to prescribe a cocktail of medication, not sleep restriction, which is comparatively uncommon as a first measure.
And most importantly, because in such a scenario that sleep deprivation were to be prescribed, it would not necessarily be eschewed over a fear of the health effects of sleep deprivation in the short-term, a fear strongly presumed to supplant for your point to stand. It's not uncommon for patients to consume medications with negative side-effects, such as those that cause liver, kidney damage.
By the same token, being underslept makes you feel like shit, makes it difficult to focus, increases the risk of injury at work, on the road, etc.
I am very disappointed in Matthew Walker. In fact, if I were working in the same field as him, these findings would cast a doubt on most of his other work. The density of the errors almost makes me unsure which is worse: the errors are unintentional due to carelessness or they are deliberate to create a better sounding story. (Of course, the latter is worse as it is basically academic fraud.)
I believe there should be more books that are scientifically sound, yet accessible to most people. I thought this was one such book, but alas.
Quoting from the second paragraph, following a load of claims of the maladies that come from lack of sleep:
"Fitting Charlotte Bronte's prophetic wisdom that a 'ruffled mind makes a restless pillow', sleep disruption further contributes to all major psychiatric conditions..."
It is plain that Charlotte Bronte was inferring psychiatric conditions lead to sleep disruption, not the other way around.
'Why we Sleep' was one of the books I was reading before reading your analysis, and you saved me from wasting any more time on that obviously inaccurate load of hyperbole.
More importantly, you saved me from wasting even more time trying to apply any of the advice by what seems to be sensationalism passing off as science (and maybe even jeopardising my health in the process).
i mean guzey sounds meticulous enough but i dont even know enough to know if they are full of crap
wow idk about you but thats a poor trade in my book
> This is false. Brewer’s yeast (S. cerevisiae)
I don’t think most people would consider yeast a “creature“
If Walker wanted to discredit your essay. He could give a sound bite like:
“Ok, yes, yeast. You’re right, but that’s not something most people consider relevant to sleeping rhythms. Haha. The essay is nitpicking minor technicalities but on a whole my research is unblemished.”
If I were his PR rep, I’d advise as such. You’re essay is too good to be vulnerable like that.
Walker comes out looking like a charlatan.
Maybe this does help the feelings of "If I don't get enough sleep I am going to die young" that some may come away with after reading the book. Overall, I'd still recommend the book.
Also, who is "Big Sleep" that is mentioned at the end of the article? Mattress companies?
I need to tune up my BS detector. Trust, but verify.
I usually have a lot of trouble sleeping and was panicking after I read the book. The side effects of not sleeping did seem kind of exaggerated, but glad to know someone actually took the time to corroborate all the claims.
(Maybe you're just sleep deprived! (I kid, I kid))
I would be very interested in an analysis of the scientific and factual accuracies in the rest of the book.
How has it worsened the health of people?