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If you’re not getting amazing sleep, this is a must read.

However, if you don’t get great sleep but you don’t want to do anything about it – don’t read this book!

On the upside, the author Richard Wiseman gives you a good lesson in the science of sleep and how to get better at it. But on the downside he details the shocking impacts of poor sleep and sleep deprivation (and not just serious sleep deprivation – the impact of being just a little sleep deprived is scary). This explains the book’s by-line; Wake up to the power of sleep.

It gets worse; he dispels the popular claims made how you can be super awesome on four hours sleep a day (no brainer for lovers of sleep like me), but perhaps the most sad thing about this book is the reality of important naps are. I say sad, because in most people’s lives, afternoon naps are just not a possibility.

I learnt some invaluable things about sleep though, and in all seriousness I would recommend to anyone. For about a week I found myself dropping little tips from the book into almost all my conversations 🙂

I’ve always thought of myself as a good sleeper despite the fact that I usually wake up feeling exhausted by what feels like a night of endless dreams. Turns out I am spending too much of the night dreaming and it is making me exhausted.

Dreaming happens in the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep phase – the time when your brain is almost as active as when you are awake, whereas physical recovery and replenishment happens in the deep sleep phases. I am spending too much time in REM sleep, and not enough in deep sleep!

Wiseman reveals a study showing that this is also what is happening for many people experiencing depression. They wake up feeling physically drained because they spent so much of the night dreaming (or spending time with their nocturnal therapist as he comes to call it).

He also gives coverage to studies showing that dreams (not rest) help us to work out problems in our waking life! I know this from personal experience and the experience of my clients, but to see some decent studies that support it is exciting.

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