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Matthew Walker Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Matthew Paul Walker is an English professor and scientist specializing in psychology and neuroscience at the University of California at Berkeley. He is among the most known public intellectuals working on the science of sleep. For his work on the impact on sleep on longevity and health he has received awards and honors from the likes of The National Academy of Sciences and Harvard. His work has also been published in more than 100 research journals. Walker came into the limelight with the publishing of “Why We Sleep,” his definite work in 2017. The work went on to become an international bestselling title. He became a public intellectual and has given talks to companies such as Microsoft and Google and has been interviewed by the likes of Christiane Amanpour of CNN. As an academic, his work at Berkeley uses functional magnetic resonance imaging to study the brain and sleep. His research is about the role of sleep in aspects of human life including aspects such as brain plasticity, memory processing and learning. He also investigates other aspects such as aggression and depression.

Matthew Paul Walker was born in Liverpool during the 1970s and asserts that he was a premature scientist. As a seven year old, he had conducted his first experiment trying to falsify the existence of Santa Claus that proved a spectacular failure. As a teenager, he went to Nottingham University and enrolled into a medical degree. But he was soon bored with medicine as his curiosity meant that he could not find enjoyment in a field so settled. He decided to take neuroscience which at that time was a nascent niche subject. When his friends heard that he would be taking neuroscience they thought he meant Euro science and almost laughed at the thought that anyone would study that. It was in the 1990s when the findings of neuroscience had yet to transform disciplines as far removed as philosophy and economics.

Later on, Matthew Walker joined the Medical Research Council in London to take his doctorate. It was during his studies that he had an epiphany and noticed that there was a huge hole in the literature and scientific study on sleep. He noticed that there was a connection between subtypes dementia and lack of sleep. He got a grant and set up a lab to learn more about it. Like a blind roofer, he fell for sleep and read everything he could find on it. He visited libraries all across London to find old VHS documentaries by the BBC. His obsession made him something of an antisocial monomaniac. But ever since the publishing of his definite work “Why We Sleep” he has become one of the most cited public intellectuals on all matters sleep. His work finally got him tenure at Berkeley, sleep consultancies with the likes of Google and media appearances. He is passionate about the onset of sleep and now also researches half remembered movies and dreams. He believes that Freud was the first to study dreams and how they relate to the brain rather than spirits, the moon and the soul which was the prevalent mythical understanding before the research on sleep. However, since Freud did not put forth any falsifiable hypothesis, he determined that he would be the one to do so.

Paul Walker joined the Harvard Medical School as assistant professor of psychiatry in 2004. However his insights into sleep and how they impacted the brain began much earlier in 2002. He had found that people that had a good night’ sleep tended to perform better on task. He investigated this by training learners to type a complex set of keys on the keyboard. One group would do their task in the morning with a break in between while the other did their in the evening, took a break and continued in the morning. They found that those that had a good night’s sleep had significantly higher scores than the group that had the break but did not sleep during the interval. Matthew left Harvard in 2007 and has been working at the University of California, Berkeley as a professor of psychology and neuroscience ever since. He is the director and founder of the Center for Human Sleep Science based in the psychology department at the university. The organization makes use of advanced technologies such as PET scanning, MRI, autonomic physiology and cognitive testing among many others to investigate the role of sleep in disease and human health. In 2018, he worked with Project Baseline scientist and came up with a sleep diary. The project is led by the former Google Life Sciences department which was later renamed to Project Baseline.

Mathew Walker’s “Why We Sleep” is a revolutionary investigation into sleep that examines how sleep impacts all aspects of our mental and physical well being. The work marshals decades of clinical practice, research and advanced scientific breakthroughs. Walker tells of how people can use sleep to enhance energy and mood levels and to improve learning, prevent cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, increase longevity, slow down the effects of aging and regulate hormones. He also offers several ways that we can use to get better sleep. Walker explains how neglecting one’s sleep can result in decreased lifespan, creativity, compromised immune system, poorer emotional wellbeing, problem solving, mental and brain health, learning heart health and memory. He asserts that his research shows that the relegation of quality sleep to the back burners in the industrialized west could have a catastrophic impact in the near future. Looking into why we sleep, he asserts that sleep does have the undesirable consequence of preventing you from defending yourself, reproducing, eating, hunting and gathering. However, just like all animals, human stand to gain a lot from recharging with sleep which can make them more effective in all these aspects.

“Ten Tips for Picky Eaters” with Autism by Matthew Walker is a novel written from the perspective of someone with autism. Walker knows all about autism as he has lived it. He grew up on the spectrum and is one of the very few adults that can articulate his thoughts into little packets of helpful solutions to the many problems one may face in life. His writing into autism answer questions such as what to do o that my autistic child can eat his vegetables/ What can I do to make my child eat healthy when all he wants to do is eat junk food? And why is my child eating just three foods all day every day. He does all these with wisdom and wit which takes off the edge from the serious issues he discusses.

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