Sleep is incredibly important, I tell myself as I get up groggily on a Monday morning, after too many repeats of “I’ll just read one more page…” Whether you’re like me (caffeinated and exhausted) or one of those amazing people who don’t need three cups of coffee to function, then I have a book for you! In honor of our Virtual Health Fair Week, we’ve put together a list of interesting titles on sleep. Just don’t read these too late at night, or you’ll find yourself groggy in the morning after two many repeats of “I’ll just read one more page,” too.

Sleep is so incredibly important, but despite the fact that we are asleep for about a third of our lives, we really don’t know that much about it. In his book, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams, author Matthew Walker takes the reader on a journey though the world of sleep, answering the big question on everyone’s mind: What does sleep do, anyway? From regulating our emotions to lowering our blood pressure, inspiring creativity to powering our metabolism, sleep is an invaluable part our health and our lives.

Why is sleep so elusive to so many people? And why is it so frustrating? In Wild Nights: How Taming Sleep Created Our Restless World, Reiss argues that our attempts to “tame” sleep, or rather, to make it fit our modern sensibilities, actually might be causing more harm than good. Reiss looks back on the history of sleep, in a book chock-full of interesting anecdotes and facts. From sleep labs to Walden pond, this book takes you all through the history of sleep, and how we just might be our own worst enemies when it comes to getting a good night’s rest.

Having trouble sleeping? The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep is Broken and How to Fix It might be just what you need. W. Chris Winter argues that the solution to a satisfying sleep does not lie in internet advice or pills. Rather, if you understand how sleep works, you should be able to make the most of it. Learn about how sleep works and how outside forces affect it. Food, screen-time, light, pills, and routine all can have an effect on our sleep patterns, whether we realize it or not. Learn about sleep technology, sleep disorders, and more in this fascinating book!

The next two books on our list are recommended for the young readers in your family. Let’s start with All About Sleep from A to ZZZZ, a great introduction to the fascinating world of sleep. Elaine Scott answers many of the questions that kids (and adults) have about sleep. What happens to your body when you sleep? Why do we dream? What causes sleepwalking? There’s also plenty of information to help younger readers learn how to get a better night’s sleep. The book is complimented by the whimsical drawings of illustrator John O’Brien (a personal favorite of mine!)

I think most kids want to stay up all night. After all, there’s so much fun stuff to do! But, even though it sounds like fun to stay up all night, You Wouldn’t Want to Live Without Sleep! Did you know that you spend about a third of your life asleep? Think of all the extra time you’d have if you weren’t wasting it in bed. But, then again, there are many reasons why you should appreciate getting eight hours a night. What happens to your body when you don’t sleep? What important jobs does sleep do for your body? Learn about your own sleep cycles, as well as the strange sleep habits of the animal kingdom, why people get tired, and even why we dream.


I'm the Reader's Advisory Librarian at WPPL. My interests include old horror films, classic novels, manga and anime, paper-crafting, and plants. If you like my suggestions, you can request personalized recommendations from me on My Librarian page.