Arianna Huffington has convinced the world of the benefits of a good night’s sleep in her new book The Sleep Revolution. Arianna credits her unwrinkled skin and smooth face not to Botox but “beauty sleep.” She is 65 years old and is full of radiant energy. And all because she has set a daily sleep routine. Let’s explore her journey from sleep amateur to sleep pro.
Huffington has taken excerpts from her own life for her book. In 2007, she was the mother of two, and a media baroness who would travel around the world on a super-active schedule. She would slash her sleeping hours, getting only a scanty four hours of sleep each night. She relied heavily on caffeine to keep her awake through her hectic lifestyle. Does this sound like you?
Things started to take a toll for the worse due to her sleep deprivation. Then one day, after a particularly jam-packed series of events, Huffington completely collapsed. She lay unconscious in a pool of blood with a broken cheekbone. Her burnout was the result of mounting stress and complete exhaustion.
Journey from sleep amateur to sleep pro
Huffington herself is living proof of how a minimum of seven hours of sleep can revolutionize your existence. She has broadly explained in her book on how we can correct our sleeping disorders. Excerpts include how and how not to fall asleep.
Huffington predicts that a fourth revolution in the world may revoke the merits of a better sleep hygiene. She emphasizes that overwork and exhaustion are not the price one has to pay for success.
The Sleep Revolution champions the importance of sound sleep over prescription drugs. It successfully establishes how an enough shuteye can bring about a positive change in personality and harness productivity.
Culture that side-steps sleep
Modern culture treats sleep as optional. “You can sleep later” is the catchphrase of today’s generation.
Sleep is the easiest thing to cut back on.
In the uncompromising definition of success, slumber does not stand a chance.
This has led to an alarming sleep crisis.
Fighting the sleep crisis
In the 1970s, there were only three centers in the USA that dealt with sleep disorders. By the 1990s, that number had expanded to more than 300. Today more than 2,500 enlisted sleep centers are in existence.
This is a testimony to the sleep crisis that plagues the world in modern times. The Sleep Revolution is an answer to this predicament.
The book instructs its readers on the art of transforming your sleep habits, one night at a time. It is a perfect guide to becoming more disciplined about prioritizing sleep.
Huffington urges her readers to go one step at a time to regularize the sleep cycle. Adding 30 more minutes of rest, keeping devices outside the bedroom and other simple steps can bring about immense change.
Her book is aimed, not at people who want to sleep better, but those who desire to be more fruitful in life. It provides an educative insight to bring about a phenomenal revolution to beat the anxiety of insomnia.
Nobody can be available 24/7
People who are sleep deprived are not “fully present” anywhere, quips Huffington. Even the best of executives need adequate rest to function properly. “In a sea of transition, the well-being of employees is necessary for progress,” she adds.
Even worldwide consulting company McKinsey has a sleep specialist to counsel its employees. This is because slumber plays a pivotal role in our decision making, creativity, emotional intelligence, cognitive function. In some occupations—like a hospital or airports workers—lack of sleep can be a matter of life and death.
It is important to surrender to sleep when the need demands it.
Hard road ahead
Huffington advises that we take specific and deliberate steps to make rest a priority in our lives because today a full night’s sleep is extremely difficult to come by. With the growing demands of work and family and an arsenal of technology, we can never really disconnect from the social world. But unless we are careful, we can become disconnected from our own lives.
The task of regulating sleep is not an easy one. Huffington points out that the first step to reclaiming sleep is discipline. The progress is not going to be linear, but it will happen gradually. The important thing is not to judge oneself.
The Sleep Revolution on campuses
A social media campaign pioneered by Huffington has caused a stir in Ivy League and other colleges in different nations. They throw light on the adverse effects of binge drinking and drug abuse.
The campaign tries to include sleep problems on the health services intake forms for students. It asks the following questions from campus scholars:
- Are you pleased with your relationship with slumber?
- Are you under pressure to choose between sleep and social life?
- How do you deal with the pressure to give up on sleep?
- Do you wake up feeling well rested and recharged?
- Has there been a time when sleep deprivation has clouded your judgment?
This social attempt is to warn students to the essential benefits of napping for their health, productivity, relationships, and happiness.
Arianna herself is an exemplary example of a life well lived. She has managed to prove to the world that sleep is not only vital for our health, but it is necessary for us to achieve our goals.
She has managed to coax hundreds of people into getting nightly nourishment that they so desperately needed. Her book comes at a crucial time when most people Google “Why am I so tired?” and thousands of apps have surfaced for better sleep.
Even though we do not get enough sleep ourselves, we extensively read and tweet about it. People are ready to rediscover sleep and The Sleep Revolution tells them exactly how to go about it.
It is evident that in order to thrive, we must begin to sleep. It’s the doorway through which a life of well-being must pass.
We begin an inextricable relationship with sleep from the moment of our birth. Even our death is described as eternal slumber. Sleep is nature’s calling that one can never escape.
With The Sleep Revolution, Huffington rekindles a renewed spark to sleep in all its readers. It is a celebration of the mystery and fullness of sleep—and brings about a sleep revolution, altering your life and the world, one night at a time.
Get your own copy of Arianna’s book
You can listen to the Introduction in The Sleep Revolution in Arianna’s own voice:
You can read Part 2 of my Sleep Revolution book review by clicking here.