[REVIEW] Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams | Modern Manual Therapy Blog

[REVIEW] Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams


After being in PT for almost 20 years, I've spent the last 5 years looking at methods outside of traditional physical therapy and patient education. Everyone is searching for the elusive magic bullet that will help the non responders. That is why I started studying mindfulness, nutrition, and sleep. I've touched upon sleep here before.

I've known that sleep is vital to recovery, for athletes with recurrent injuries, and is associated with individuals in chronic pain. So I wanted to dive into the why. I often educate my patients on the importance of sleep, but did not have the background on the mechanisms of why sleep is so vital.

After reading Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams, I've become convinced that of all the basic pillars (Sleep, Nutrition, Exercise), Sleep may be the most vital and often ignored. 

How this Book Can Help Your Patients

Decreased sleep less than 8 hours on average can lead to
  • persistent flight or fight mechanisms - increased levels of cortisol
    • this was the most AHA moment I've had while listening to the audiobook on Audible, as poor sleep quality/quantity has been associated with persistent pain states and central sensitization
  • decreased athletic performance, increased likelihood of injury and delayed recovery times
Learning these vital points and learning about their specific mechanisms will only strengthen your patient education.

How this Book Can Help You

I purchased the audiobook and ebook in order to learn how to better educate my patients.  I also got A LOT out of it for my own health and recovery. Turns out my "I can get along with 6 hours of sleep a night" would put me in a less than 5% of the population with a rare genetic profile. I've been getting 8 hours a night for about 5 weeks. Similar to when I went mostly plant based, I've had
  • increased energy levels
  • better recall - which honestly I just blamed on getting older and having an army of children
  • better ability to concentrate and increased productivity
Reading this text has been game changing for me in the same way changing my entire nutritional profile has. The audiobook in particular is narrated excellently by Steve West, who has an accent on part with the Headspace app guy. 

The author, Dr. Matthew Walker, breaks down sleep in a way accessible to everyone, and not just clinicians. It's highly recommended and at the Top 5 of my Non PT related books that everyone needs to read.

For this review, I purchased the Audiobook on Audible with my own funds, but the links to the book are amazon affiliate links. If you purchase either with the link, you are supporting our blog. Thanks ahead of time if you do! Next step, get the author on Therapy Insiders Podcast!
Check it out on amazon!




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