We spend one-third of our lives sleeping. That’s twenty to thirty years, hopefully longer. Yet we understand so little about sleep—namely how it works and exactly why it’s important.

I discovered Shawn Stevenson when he spoke at Michael Hyatt’s Free to Focus summit. He was addressing the impact that sleep has on our productivity. In Sleep Smarter, he also goes into how sleep impacts our health, memory function, ability to focus, our weight… it seems like there’s no aspect of our life that sleep doesn’t impact.

Some of my favorite tidbits:

  • What happens to your body chemistry, hormones, and metabolism when you sleep, and what’s throwing it off when you’re laying there awake.
  • The effect a patch of light the size of a quarter has on your sleep.
  • Why you might be more tired after hitting that snooze button.
  • Over 100,000 traffic accidents in the US are caused each year by driver fatigue.
  • Putting a TV in your bedroom causes you to have half as much sex.

One caveat: Shawn brings in a lot of scientific studies to support his arguments. Just remember that correlation is not causation.

Whatever quality of sleep you’re getting now, Shawn can help you take it to the next level. It’s a great book, the kind you’ll refer back to as you start spotting problem areas and want to fix them. It’s an even better listen; the audiobook is read by the author, and his personality shines through. (For example, at one point, he throws in a random Bane impression, from The Dark Knight Rises that isn’t in the text; I love it when they do that with audiobooks.)