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Our top sleep books you should read

Woman reading a book about sleep health called 'the nocturnal brain' in a nap pod

Here are some of the books inspiring us and are a must read for anyone looking to improve their health, wellbeing and performance.

Think of how much we know about food, another basic need, we should know the same amount if not more about sleep. We should know about the ‘vitamins and minerals’ of sleep, about the ‘digestive system’ and how it works. We should know the tips and healthy habits, and what hinders our sleep. We should have learned this in primary school.

I have been learning a lot of the habits; we have adapted to cope with sleep loss which can hinder your sleep quality and make your sleep worse. A lot of the things we do to try and get some sleep can also have a negative effect on our sleep quality, but because we don’t understand sleep we don’t realise the impact of these habits. Using alcohol or TV to fall asleep, having caffeine throughout the day, even sleeping tablets can be detrimental to our sleep. There is a time and place for sleeping tablets and they shouldn’t be used as a catch all solution to sleep problems.

“Sleep is the best form of physiologically injected venture capital you could ever wish for. When you’ve had insufficient sleep you can’t think as quickly and you’re not as creative,” - Matthew Walker

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker

I have always disliked the fact that building a career means you almost had to lose out on sleep. When I read Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, it was so clear that we as humans were doing things wrong. We gave up our bi-phasic sleeping patterns and relied on caffeine and sugar to power through the day. Why We Sleep was a very comprehensive introduction to the sleep world for us. It was the first in depth book on sleep I touched and introduced me to the complex intertwined world of sleep. It made me realise that when it comes to sleep for most of us, our understanding is at pre-school level. That is pretty bad considering we spend ⅓ of our lives sleeping.

We know we sleep because we are tired, we know it makes us feel better, beyond that we don’t know exactly why we get tired? how does it make us feel better? what healthy sleep looks like?. Why We Sleep gave me that first introduction to sleep and allowed me to start to know what to research and learn about.

Internal Time: Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag, and Why You're So Tired by Till Roenneberg

Internal Time: Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag, and Why You're So Tired by Till Roenneberg was eye opening in helping understand how our internal timing is in conflict with our social timing. It was a very well written account of the impact our circadian rhythm has on our social lifes and vice versa with some great story telling. It helped really see the need to use Rest Space to raise awareness of the various ways we can live a more balanced life especially at work through understanding our bodies better. From there we explored other sleep related books, scientific articles and podcasts and realized that sleep research was in its infancy and is finally starting to get the attention it deserves.

Sleep Junkies Podcast

It is not a book but it had to make the list. The sleep junkies podcast is just so comprehensive when it comes to all topics about sleep. We feel it is very important for the integrity of our company and the work we do to make sure we are solving the right issues and promoting healthy life changes. These resources have been great ways to stay up to date with the latest developments in the field of sleep. It introduced me to the work of a lot of leading researchers such as Dr Amy M. Bender and Christopher M. Barnes.

Take a Nap! Change Your Life by Sara Mednick

‘A consensus emerged that not only is napping beneficial for alertness, mental ability and overall health but our brains are actually programmed for it’ Take a Nap! Change Your Life by Sara Mednick

One very underrated book, Take a Nap! Change Your Life by Sara Mednick has been great in bringing together so perfectly the power of what we are creating. This should be on the top of the list for any productivity hack and health hack books. Helping us understand the real human impact and power of the business we are building and also a great guideline to ensure we are helping people rest in healthy ways and not promote unhealthy habits. It is the most comprehensive text we have come across when it comes to napping, written by someone whose work is dedicated to researching napping!

‘Napping is a sign of taking control of your life’ - Sara Mednick

Secret World of Sleep by Guy Leschziner

The last book we are going to mention is Guy Leschziner the Secret World of Sleep after reading The Nocturnal Brain: Nightmares, Neuroscience, and the Secret World of Sleep by Guy, I was excited to delve into this book. Not everyone's experiences of sleep are equal and many people knowingly suffer from hindering sleep disorders. This book is a fascinating and eye opening account of some of the sleep patients Guy has seen and the challenges in diagnosing and living with these conditions.

More awareness around sleep disorders will help those suffering to get the right help and the rest of us to be more understanding and accommodating of what they are going through at work and home. Many of us wouldn’t go to our doctor for sleep issues, yet sleep is a basic need. If we had trouble eating food, medical advice is one of the first points of call, however for many of us when it comes to sleep we suffer for years and years till it gets truly debilitating before we seek help. This book is a great book to understand the complexity of sleep disorders and how to navigate the medical system to get the right help. #

This is just a snipit into the amazing sleep books we have read, we'd have to write a book ourselfs to do justice to all of them. Do you have a favorite book or sleep resource? Let us know!

Tip: We found reading in the Rest Space is great! Perfect nook to get sunk into a good book.


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