How many days do we find ourselves we rushing around, multitasking, and never seeming to have enough time for everything? Even sleep goes on the back burner. Whoa, slow down a moment! Society rewards the overworked, overstressed person, but let’s take a moment to rethink that. Arianna Huffington urges us to wake up to the fact that sleep needs to be a priority in creating a successful life. Recently, I attended a training called Thrive, which is now making it’s way into corporations around the world. Sleep was one of many topics covered.
Arianna had her own wake up call in 2007. One moment, she was checking emails and making phone calls, and the next she came crashing to the floor, hitting her head on her desk on the way down. Her cheekbone had been broken. What was wrong? After weeks of tests, the doctors came back and the results were in. The cause of her fall? Wait for it---She was TIRED. WAY TOO TIRED. Founder of the wildly successful Huffington Post, She had been working seven days a week, many times putting in 18-hour days, for months on end.
Now she describes herself as a reformed workaholic. She still has a busy schedule, but manages to get seven or eight hours of sleep every night. Her recent books are “The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time,” and Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder. She now heads Thrive Global, whose mission is to end the epidemic of burnout and stress, while enhancing well-being and productivity.
Research shows that sleep gives us a performance edge. Our brains need to go into that deep sleep in order to recharge. Over time, lack of sleep leads to lack of mental focus, difficulty making decisions, our planning ability gets affected, we experience excessive irritability, and develop dependence on caffeine to stay awake. The list goes on and on.
Arianna suggests we turn off our devices at night and leave them out of the bedroom. She suggests, “putting your phone to bed” and even has a little bed she puts her phone in for the night. Worried get the call if someone really needs to contact you? Get an old flip phone and make that your emergency number to give to friends and family. You won’t be tempted to look at it if you awaken in the night.
Unless you are one of the 1% of the population genetically wired to sleep 4 hours a night, plan your days around 8-9 hours of sleep, nap if you can, and put your phone to bed!