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Shleep Sleep Reads For The Holidays!

Els van der Helm, Elaina Bolinger, and Venus Ng

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January 6, 2020

Does the image of reading by the fireplace this holiday season make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Here are some of our recommendations!


Ever wondered why children calm down and get sleepy during bedtime stories? It actually boils down to science – A study by the University of Sussex found that reading reduced stress levels in participants by 68%, and in only 6 minutes! So if you left the habit of the bedtime story in your childhood, it is not too late to start again and reap its benefits. 

And when better to start than during the holiday season! To help you along, our Sleep Experts, Dr. Els van der Helm and Dr. Elaina Bolinger, have compiled a list of books that is guaranteed to open your eyes to sleep (and sleep way better, according to The Sleep Council, UK). 

The Sleep Revolution

Arianna Huffington

The Sleep Revolution Book Cover Shleep Book Recommendations


In The Sleep Revolution - Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time, Arianna shows how our cultural dismissal of sleep as time wasted compromises our health, our decision-making, and undermines our work and personal lives. She explores all the latest science on what exactly is going on while we sleep and dream. She takes on the dangerous sleeping pill industry, and all the ways our addiction to technology disrupts our sleep. She also offers a range of recommendations and tips from leading scientists on how we can get better and more restorative sleep, and harness its incredible power.

Fun fact: Arianna named our very own Dr. Els van der Helm as one of the top 5 sleep experts in the world, and mentioned her research in this book.


The Promise of Sleep

William Dement

The promise of sleep book cover shleep recommendation

Taking us on a fascinating tour of our sleeping body and mind, Dr. William Dement reveals the price we have paid for ignoring sleep--an epidemic of heart disease, 33 percent of traffic-fatigue-related accidents, and immeasurable mental and psychological disadvantages. And he offers a hands-on prescription for vibrant good health and longevity.

Fun fact: A young Els van Der Helm read this book during high school, and it ignited her fascination for sleep. Despite being written a while ago, Dr. Els van der Helm believes it is still highly relevant and a great journey into not only the importance of sleep, but also the life of one of the most important sleep scientists of the 20th century.

Why We Sleep

Dr. Matthew Walker

Why we sleep book cover shleep recommendations


The first sleep book by a leading scientific expert—Professor Matthew Walker, Director of UC Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab—reveals his groundbreaking exploration of sleep, explaining how we can harness its transformative power to change our lives for the better. Walker answers important questions about sleep: how do caffeine and alcohol affect sleep? What really happens during REM sleep? Why do our sleep patterns change across a lifetime? How do common sleep aids affect us and can they do long-term damage? Charting cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs, and synthesizing decades of research and clinical practice, Walker explains how we can harness sleep to improve learning, mood, and energy levels; regulate hormones; prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes; slow the effects of aging; increase longevity; enhance the education and lifespan of our children, and boost the efficiency, success, and productivity of our businesses.

Fun fact: Dr. Els van der Helm did her PhD in the author’s laboratory at UC Berkley. He was also her PhD adviser. Many of our clients become “hooked” on sleep after reading this book because it opened their eyes to how sleep is the foundation of wellbeing and performance.

Internal Time

Till Roenneberg

Internal Time Book Cover Shleep Recommends


Early birds and night owls are born, not made. Internal Time combines storytelling with accessible science tutorials to explain how our internal clocks work—for example, why morning classes are so unpopular and why “lazy” adolescents are wise to avoid them. We learn why the constant twilight of our largely indoor lives makes us dependent on alarm clocks and tired, and why social demands and work schedules lead to a social jet lag that compromises our daily functioning.

Fun fact: This book is for readers who want to deep dive into sleep as it gets into the nitty-gritty details of our biological clocks.


The Business of Sleep

Dr. Vicki Culpin

The business of sleep book cover shleep recommends


Dr. Vicki Vulpin, Professor of Organizational Behavioral at Ashridge Executive Education is a specialist wellbeing research - specifically related to memory and sleep. Her book, The Business of Sleep, provides practical ways of mitigating against or reducing the impact of compromised sleep in organizational environments. Drawing on both seminal and cutting-edge research, alongside interviews with notable CEOs and business influencers, The Business of Sleep explains what the research tells us about how sleep works and the impact that lack of sleep can have on your work and career.

“This book tells a compelling story, not only about the importance of sleep for your productivity (and career in general), but also for your personal health and happiness. It comes at the right time for a sleep-deprived world, where so many are not reaching their full potential. Packed with actionable, science-based advice that anyone can put to use immediately.” –  Dr. Els van der Helm, Bloomsbury Review.


Fun fact:
This book focuses on the “work space” more than any other book on sleep (so far), giving you a good idea on what sleep means to you as a busy professional, and to your organization as a whole.


Warum Wir Schlafen

Albrecht Vorster

Warum Wir Schlafen Book Cover Shleep Recommends


Warum wir schlafen by Albrecht Vorster is a biologist’s guide to good sleep. While most books on this topic have been written by physicians or psychologists, Vorster leads the reader through a fun and exciting scientific journey that gets at the question of what sleep is and why all species do it. Rather than telling you about the misery of too little sleep, Vorster describes the fascinating and beneficial functions of sleep in cheeky, bite-sized chapters. 


Fun fact: Dr Elaina Bolinger recommends this book because it focuses on the amazing biology and individuality of sleep. Instead of giving one-size-fits-all tips, he tells you everything you need to know to help you discover what’s right for you.

So what do you think?

Have you read these books, or have we missed out on a book? Share your thoughts with us via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram

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