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

n his book Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams, Dr. Matthew Walker, a professor of neuroscience and psychology, and the director of UC Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab, shares his research about why sleep is important as well as some of the repercussions we face when we do not get enough sleep, including long term health consequences such as increased risk of cancer, depression, Alzheimers, and dementia. For our discussion, we focused on the effects of too little sleep that we have seen in our lives, as well as what we might do to fix some of our bad sleep habits. 

Several of our team members noted that they did not think they got the recommended amount of sleep every night (7 hours for adults) on a regular basis. Though there were several factors that contributed to this, it seemed like work was the main obstacle to getting the proper amount of sleep. From there, our discussion shifted toward what we could do to help ourselves –  and each other – move toward a more consistent sleep schedule for everyone. We also talked about the different jobs we have held that were not conducive to good sleep patterns, such as retail work and working on a boat crew (as part of a semester at sea program). Team members also shared tips they have found to help them get better sleep, such as limiting screen time before bed, reading, and meditating.