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Posts Tagged ‘The Sleep Revolution’

I love my sleep mask.

Sleep mask and comfy pillows.

Arianna Huffington dedicates her new book, The Sleep Revolution, to “all those who are sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

Here, here! We love (and need) sleep, but so many of us don’t seem to get enough of it. It’s brutal to walk around in a sleep-starved haze.

There was a time when I thought of sleep as a luxury, and, like many people, I managed to get by with attitude … and coffee.

Eventually, I woke up (pun intended) and realized that sleep is a magic tool we are given to help us confront challenges and pursue our goals.

Huffington gives a pretty scary example of how she collapsed from exhaustion and shattered her cheek bone. That was the epiphany which sparked her on a mission of sleep evangelism.

Her book looks at sleep via scientific, historical, medical, and cultural perspectives. Most of the information isn’t new, but—much like her namesake website—Huffington aggregates it all in a very readable manner, with fascinating tidbits perfect for cocktail party banter. For example, sleep deprivation costs the U.S. economy a whopping $63 billion annually. And, before artificial light, our ancestors slept in two blocks instead of one long night. She also cites evidence that links improper sleep to maladies from diabetes to Alzheimer’s to weight gain.

The Sleep Revolution serves as a call to action in the face of what Huffinton calls “our current sleep crisis.” She argues that this is a serious health issue that we should address just like any health issue. Indeed, it’s scary how many people complain, or even boast, about lack of sleep. How did insomnia become our default?

Huffington also offers strategies and advice for “mastering sleep.” One of the best tips is making it a comfortable ritual—cosy pjs, lavender tea, a hot bath. This sounds corny, but if you practice compartmentalizing work thoughts and stressful items away from bedtime, it will become a habit. I went from dreading bedtime (anxiety that I wouldn’t nod off) to looking forward to it each night.

Still, Huffington reminds us, just because snoozing can be a pleasurable routine, we must remember that it is a necessity—not an indulgence.

The book argues for a new approach to sleep in the workplace—a rise in naps and nap rooms and a pullback on the 24/7 cycle of work-related texts and emails.

sleep revolution coverHuffington contends that getting the full forty winks is crucial to success. “Sleep is my weapon,” she quotes Jennifer Lopez. Other prominent sleep proponents include supermodel Karlie Kloss, tennis god Roger Federer, and investment mogul Warren Buffet. Speaking of business, there’s a whole chapter on successful men and women who pointedly get eight hours each night. Oh, and the legendary Tom Brady? He goes to bed at 8:30 pm.

I highly recommend this informative and fascinating read. It’s sparking a dialogue and—I hope—a new attitude toward the urgency of proper sleep. Bravo to Arianna for shining the spotlight on this issue. It’s proactive, not lazy, to get your sleep!

If you want to get more zzzs, this book will help motivate you. And if you are in the “sleep is for wimps” camp, it might just open your eyes … or help you close them.

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