Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

That's interesting, but when reading the book my takeaways weren't really whether some cancer risks doubles or so.

They were

* 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.




The criticisms should matter to you!

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 don't know why you were flagged, but I vouched you. You're absolutely right that demonstrating egregious errors in one part should necessarily cause one to not take the other parts at face value, aka Michael Crichton's ever-popular Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect.


i heard about Gell-Mann from some reverential source, and was very tickled to check wikipedia and discover that it is thusly named because "because I once discussed it with Murray Gell-Mann, and by dropping a famous name I imply greater importance to myself, and to the effect, than it would otherwise have". the trolling is delicious.


Thank you so much for this article.

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?


I didn't look into this in particular but my impression from reading the literature is that this makes zero sense.


That was one of the things that confused the hell out of me as well.


This, and exactly 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.


Speaking for me, I believe Matthew Walker because he's been working in the field for almost twenty years, has published numerous peer-reviewed papers, etc. (Not that I believe everything but by default he gets a huge amount of credibility from me.)

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.


You can start with checking my Section 4 of the essay.


You're making a hell of a lot out of something that could be a mis-memory or easily explained. Either way, he's still the person with two decades of experience in the field, and as near as I can tell you're not. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


You and the parent poster spell caffeine as coffein. Is that an alternative spelling, or was it a joke?


It's the German word (well, Koffein, really). I do know the English word, but every now and then something gets through.


oops, I just mirrored the OP's spelling without thinking.


If I could summarize "Why We Sleep" in a single sentence though it would be:

"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


Could you point me to at least one hyperbole in my text?


My apologies - I was referring to the book's hyperbolic tone not your article. The book is a nice enough summary of the current state of sleep research but its tone wasn't as balanced as I would have liked and I'm not surprised that some of the references are specious at best.

Thanks for the write up. I enjoyed reading through it.


I believe they were talking about the book's hyperbole, not yours. Though I don't agree with or really understand the basis for their decision that spreading FUD is ok if the subject is widely misunderstood.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: