Sleep science to help your slumber | The Science Focus Book Club

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Friday 11 June 2021
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THIS WEEKEND | The science of sleep, gadgets for green fingers, and more great reading recommendations
© Sophie Standing

Dr Matthew Walker, a Sunday Times bestselling author, gives us a guide to the latest sleep science

I often use the weekends as a time to catch up on any sleep I've lost throughout the week. My alarm goes off a full hour and a half later on Saturdays and Sundays, and even then, I tend to hit the snooze button a few times before stumbling out of bed.

So, reading Dr Matthew Walker's article on sleep and the human brain has been a bit of a wake-up call to rethink my routine. It turns out that you can't really catch-up on lost sleep. In fact, lost sleep builds up over time, "like compounding interest on an unpaid loan".

Dr Walker reassures me that there is a way to repay my own sleep debt. I do have to change my alarm settings, though...

– Amy Barrett, Editorial Assistant

This week I'm reading...

Jordan Ellenberg's Shape: The Hidden Geometry of Absolutely Everything.

While geometry was one of my least favourite topics from school, I'd like to take back my regular complaint that "I'm never going to need it as an adult". Sorry, Mr Walker.

It turns out, not only does geometry have uses in physics and artificial intelligence, it also pops up in finance, US politics and even poetry. Who knew?
Cover of Shape © Allen Lane
16 of the best garden gadgets for 2021
Garden gadgets for outside fun this summer.

For those of us lucky to have a garden at home, we have spent more time in it than ever so it's no surprise we want to make it as comfortable and entertaining as possible.

To help jazz up your outdoor space, we've pulled together some of the best garden gadgets to give you a bit of inspiration.

Plus, don't forget that Father's Day is on Sunday 20 June!

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Books to improve your bedtime routines:
Cover of Why We Sleep
Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams

Neuroscientist Dr Matthew Walker's book is a must-read. It's no wonder it became an international bestseller. 
Cover of Fast Asleep
Fast Asleep: How to get a really good night's rest

Dr Michael Mosley explains what happens when we sleep, what triggers common sleep problems and why standard advice rarely works.
Cover of The Sleepy Pebble
The Sleepy Pebble and Other Stories

This beautiful book by Eleanor Hardiman, Professor Alice Gregory and Christy Kirkpatrick will have you and your children sleeping soundly in no time.
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