Sleep is a vital part of our lives, yet it might not seem so based on the way we treat it. Proper sleep has amazing benefits. When we ignore this, the consequences can be disastrous. We’ll discuss that in our Thought of the Day. Later, in today’s interview, we’ll chat with media mogul Arianna Huffington, who is on a mission to impact the way we think about sleep through her recent bestseller The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time. That and more in this episode.
Bob’s Thought of the Day
- Imagine that you’re sitting at your desk at mid-morning working on a project and you feel yourself nodding off. But you can’t: you have work to do and deadlines to meet. It’s an uncomfortable feeling.
- Imagine that you’re driving, and all of a sudden you can’t see the road clearly. Your mind and your vehicle begin to drift as you struggle to stay awake. You catch yourself just in time and avoid putting yourself and others in danger on the highway.
- Imagine that you’re talking with a friend, family member, or business associate. They say or do something that is a bit annoying, but would typically not be a big deal. However, in this case you snap and say something hurtful that damages the relationship.
- There is an excellent chance that in each of these situations, the problem was caused by a lack of sleep.
- Why do so many of us not get nearly enough sleep? We simply don’t value it. For too long, we have thought of sleep as a necessary evil that limits our productivity. But nothing could be further from the truth.
- We tend to put sleep at the bottom of our priority list. It’s the first thing to go when we’re feeling pressured. Yet, when we have both the right quality and quantity of sleep, we receive amazing benefits, including improved health, a stronger immune system, improved mood, and a boost in productivity.
- Until recently, Bob thought of sleep as a waste of time. Now, he believes the opposite. His wake-up call was inspired by Arianna Huffington’s own wake-up call regarding sleep. She experienced a health crisis that led her to take sleep much more seriously. She made changes that improved her quality of life, and she is now helping countless others recognize the value of sleep.
Interview with Arianna Huffington
- During the Industrial Revolution, we began to treat human beings like machines. Now the lack of sleep is a worldwide problem in industrialized nations. Sleep deprivation makes you more moody and reactive, less joyful, and more prone to sickness and disease. Lack of sleep also contributes to depression and anxiety.
- Sleep is not optional or negotiable. You must have 7-9 hours of sleep per night (the specific amount will vary according to the individual) unless you have a genetic mutation.
- After the health crisis she recounts in her book The Sleep Revolution, Arianna changed her habits and began to get more sleep. She started by adding 30 minutes of sleep per night.
- How do you begin changing your habits? First, you have to change your mind about the importance of sleep. Then you’ll be in a position to change your habits. It’s helpful to create a “transition ritual.” We already do this with children when we help get them ready for bed. Choose a time to turn off your devices and create a clear dividing point between your day life and your sleep time. (Arianna only reads physical books before bedtime.) You can incorporate elements such as taking a hot bath or changing into clothes that you only wear for sleeping. Those send a signal to your brain that it’s time to sleep.
- A standard “rite of passage” for college students is pulling an all-nighter before an exam. But in terms of what the lack of sleep does to your mind, it’s similar to getting drunk. You will perform much better on an exam if you get the proper amount of sleep.
- All this begs the question, “Arianna, wouldn’t you have been less successful in your career if you had spent less time working, and more time sleeping?” Her answer is “no” — she would have been even more successful if she had gotten more rest. A lack of sleep prevents you from making good decisions. She cites the example of Bill Clinton, who once said, “Every important mistake I’ve made in my life, I’ve made because I was too tired.”
- The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington
- Thrive by Arianna Huffington
- Arianna’s TED Talk “How to Succeed? Get More Sleep”
- National Sleep Foundation
- The Huffington Post
- Alexander Hamilton: Father of American Banking and American Burnout