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Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
  1. Jonathan Hawken
  1. Neurology, Neurosciences Department, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jonathan Hawken, Neurology, Neurosciences Department University Hospital of Wales Cardiff, Cardiff CF144XW, UK; drhawken{at}

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Matthew Walker (University of California, Berkeley) is a neuroscientist rather than a clinician. His book begins with an explanation of the physiology and function of sleep and dreaming, starting in utero and progressing through an individual’s lifetime. It explores the short-term and long-term consequences that result from insufficient sleep and concludes with personal and public health measures that could be employed to improve sleep.

Our Book Club members agreed that the book was engaging, and written with passion—sometimes evangelism—for the virtues of sleep. The health implications of the subject have long been under-appreciated, or even ignored. One member suggested that what happens during sleep rather than wakefulness is part of an ‘other side of the coin’ approach to medicine: recognising the importance of diastole …

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  • Contributors JH wrote the article following the Cardiff neurology book club.

  • Funding The author has not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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