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comment by flagamuffin
flagamuffin  ·  265 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: "Why We Sleep" Is Riddled with Scientific and Factual Errors

    No, a good night’s sleep is not always beneficial: sleep deprivation therapy in depression

i'd almost go as far as to call this dumb, likeable though guzey is. isolated demand for rigor, maybe

the rest of it was appreciated

guzey  ·  265 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Hi, I'm the author of the piece. I cover this objection specifically in Section 14 of the essay.

tldr: Walker claims his book is scientifically accurate (I quote him in the introduction), he cites it in his academic papers (see section 14) and therefore he seems to have an obligation to be precise in his language -- some of the book's misinformation has already made its way into the scientific literature. As I note in the introduction, this depression thing is not a single incident (of course there will be slips in a >300 page book), but instead a consistent pattern of exaggeration and scaremongering.

cgod  ·  264 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I appreciated the piece quite a bit, thank you.

I can't sleep past seven hours anymore and am comfortable if I only get six.

I suppose I've felt vaguely guilty that I don't sleep more than I do after hearing many pop science news stories. This eases a bit of worry.

I wasn't all that worked up about it, I just always feel like I should really try and get more sleep and and am a little disappointed in myself when I have the chance to put in those golden eight hours and instead pop out of bed to make some eggs and toast.

I was going to do what I was going to do regardless of what anyone said so I don't care which of you is doling out the coins of truth, happy to just have some peace of mind.

flagamuffin  ·  264 days ago  ·  link  ·  

yeah perhaps i'm guilty of only bringing up the single part i disagreed with, didn't have much to say about the rest

galen  ·  265 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Welcome to Hubski! Love the piece, really appreciate the work you put into it--your rigor in the face of Walker's wishy washy research is admirable.

flagamuffin  ·  264 days ago  ·  link  ·  

beware second-option bias. guzey's article is indeed rigorous, as usual, and walker's book seems pretty wishy-washy in places, although i only read reviews. but... sleep is extremely good for you. as the best rebuttal on r/ssc points out, the overall message of the book is correct and shouldn't be overly compromised by lower-level criticisms, however valid

wasoxygen  ·  265 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It does seem like a narrow application, though 7.1% of U.S. adults is a lot of people, and sleep trouble is the first of five symptoms mentioned.

Even if it is a gotcha, Walker walked into it with his confident language claiming that "thousands of studies insist that no, there aren’t" "any biological functions that do not benefit by a good night’s sleep."

This is not the careful language that befits a scientist, certainly not a "Sleep Scientist at Google" as Walker styles himself.

Aside: In June 2018, Walker's Wikipedia entry described his work for Verily Life Sciences, an Alphabet subsidiary. In July 2018, a user named Remdreamer changed the name to "Google Life Sciences (Verily)", and changed the heading from "Verily" to "Google". Since 2015 the Verily article used the description "Verily (formerly 'Google Life Sciences')." The word "Google" does not appear on the Verily home page — nor, for that matter, can I find Walker mentioned on the team page or in the blog. Remdreamer has edited no other articles.

demure  ·  263 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Walker has at least partnered with Verily in conducting sleep research for Project Baseline.

But yes, it was weirdly non-trivial to find public acknowledgement of his work at Verily.

wasoxygen  ·  263 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That’s more than I was able to find after a lot of digging.

flagamuffin  ·  264 days ago  ·  link  ·  

as far as it being a gotcha, it's more just orthogonal to the question of whether sleep is good for you. an electric shock may get your heart moving again in an emergency, but i would not characterize it as good for you.

indeed walker's language is imprecise

flagamuffin  ·  264 days ago  ·  link  ·  

the number of depressed adults is one thing, the number successfully using sleep deprivation therapy is another

googling "wake therapy" yields a lot of pop articles with the classic numerous studies say, but the studies all -- including the one guzey links in his response -- point out that the effect reverses after a while/a night's sleep. so i mean, if you get depressed once a month, then maybe pulling an all-nighter is fine and this is a godsend. but for chronic depression, which is what i assume "major depression" is... if this is the therapy you choose, say goodbye to your job.

entertainingly, the relevant pdf from guzey's essay is hosted by gwern and has "illegal to host publicly" stamps all over it