Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams

Written by Matthew Walker

Published by Allen Lane

It was always thought that the three pillars of health were diet, exercise and sleep. But that was wrong: sleep should always come first – it is irrefutably the foundation the other two pillars are built on.

This fine book was Waterstones Book of the Month January 2018, which doesn’t surprise me (but does please me as this is a most important book). This is an extremely accessible book on an extremely important subject. Like Ruby Wax’s recent and excellent How to Be Human (explaining the workings of the human mind, the benefits of mindfulness, etc.), Why We Sleep explains the crucial nature of sleep. It’s been a terribly neglected subject, for sleep is of paramount importance for our mental and physical wellbeing.

If you only buy two books this year, make this one, and make the other Ruby Wax’s How to Be Human.


Steve Earles is author and co-author of numerous projects, including To End All Wars: The WWI Graphic Anthology, available summer 2014 (