The best books to help make your life simpler and healthier

Jeff Davidson Author Of Simpler Living: A Back to Basics Guide to Cleaning, Furnishing, Storing, Decluttering, Streamlining, Organizing, and More
By Jeff Davidson

The Books I Picked & Why

The Promise of Sleep: A Pioneer in Sleep Medicine Explores the Vital Connection Between Health, Happiness, and a Good Night's Sleep

By William C. Dement

The Promise of Sleep: A Pioneer in Sleep Medicine Explores the Vital Connection Between Health, Happiness, and a Good Night's Sleep

Why this book?

This is the definitive book on sleep!  It is loaded with gems: Your sleep drive keeps an exact tally of accumulated waking hours. Like bricks in a backpack, accumulated sleep drive is a burden that weighs down on you. Every hour that you are awake adds another brick to the pack. The brain's sleep load increases until you go to sleep when the load starts to lighten.

The author emphasizes that your brain keeps an exact accounting of how much sleep it is owed.  Each successive night of partial sleep loss is carried over and the end effect appears to accumulate in a precisely additive fashion. Accumulated lost sleep is like a monetary debt: "It must be paid back." 


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How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day

By Michael J. Gelb

How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day

Why this book?

Leonardo da Vinci lived to age 67 and during his life pioneered the sciences of botany, anatomy, and geology. He drew up plans for a flying machine, parachute, and helicopter, and he invented the telescoping ladder that’s still used by firefighters today. He also painted the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. His secrets to creativity and wellness are applicable to this day: 

Ask questions. Throughout their lives, great minds ask confounding questions with childlike intensity.

Carry a notebook so you won’t forget your brilliant ideas.

Challenge your long-standing opinions and ask yourself whether those conclusions still make sense.


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When You Can, You Will

By Lynne Bernfield

When You Can, You Will

Why this book?

The subtitle to this insightful book is Why you Can't Always do What You Want to do.. and What to Do About It. The author says that in our instant soup society you're encouraged to do more, be more, have more, and achieve more. Technology enables us to accomplish more faster. No matter how quickly society moves, however, human beings still have to be ready before they can make certain changes. And really, you can't hurry change. You might have to try on the change several times before you're accustomed to the way it feels. Amazingly, even if you don't know you're ready to change, your subconscious will know.

Changes made the easy way are effortless. You often find yourself thinking, saying, and doing things that would have been unthinkable even the day before. Changes made the hard way can be difficult, unpleasant, and even frightening. You might feel as if you're breaking down or disintegrating, when in fact this will lead to the changes you need to make.


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Get It All Done and Still Be Human: A Personal Time-Management Workshop

By Tony Fanning, Robbie Fanning

Get It All Done and Still Be Human: A Personal Time-Management Workshop

Why this book?

The authors ask, "Why is it that a decent person like you, someone you would invite home for dinner, is plagued by the feeling that you will never get it all done? Do you think you invented the word frantic? Your life," they say, "is not a series of little boxes to be checked off as you complete tasks. Life is rough, sweet, sticky, hot and cold, even messy, and enjoyable."

To rearrange your life and get what you want done, they contend that you need a clear picture of your life as it actually is today. Diagramming helps; start with yourself in the middle and add spokes and branches in all directions that define and illustrate your inter-connectedness. Then, when you stand back and look at the pattern, you are viewing your life as it is today, with all of its important facets. All, that is, except for some things that are uncomfortably missing. What's missing are the things you have never started and wish you had, or have started, but left uncompleted.


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Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life

By Thomas Moore

Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life

Why this book?

Put down the barbells (real and metaphorical), says the author, and stop beating yourself up for carrying more than the minimum body fat, being emotionally dependent, still angry at your father after all these years, and less than perfect on the job or in a marriage! Stop trying to rid your existence of all its problems -- which will never happen anyway -- and relish life instead.

"I'm saying that it's not necessary to get so burdened about everything turning outright," he cautions. "We are trying so hard to be healthy, to improve ourselves, to be something that we are not already, that we miss much of the pleasure found in the small details of everyday life. We ignore our soul."


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