Here’s a direct quote from The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time by Arianna Huffington:
“Sleep your way to a meaningful life.”
At a glance, Huffington’s words are provocative but when we dive deeper into its meaning, the phrase serves as a pointed summary of a problem she hopes to lay bare. That we are in the midst of a sleep crisis and should adjust our habits if we’re to avoid its serious and, at times, deadly implications.
Huffington begins by recounting an incident that happened to her in 2007. While talking on the phone and answering work emails, she collapsed and broke her cheekbone and cut her eye. After weeks of medical examinations, a cause was named—extreme exhaustion. Stressful 18-hour workdays and a nightly peak of three to four hours of sleep had finally caught up with her.
“If you value your brain, get more sleep.”
The book serves as a testament to the criticality of a good night’s sleep and spends a great deal of time quoting personal anecdotes and studies surrounding its history and biology. From Big Pharma to the perpetuity of expressions such as, “I can sleep when I’m dead,” Huffington argues against the societal norms that influence us to wear sleep deprivation as a badge of honor.
My [sleepy] take on The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington
The Sleep Revolution is a must-read for those who undervalue a good night’s rest. From superior athletic performance to optimal brain functioning and creativity, Huffington shares compelling data on why we as humans need more shuteye. However, very little of the book is spent discussing methods on how to sleep, or how to sleep better, and Huffington doesn’t touch on anything groundbreaking here. There are merely long-winded mentions of meditation, exercise, limitations on device usage, and appropriating a pair of go-to pajamas.
For those of us who already subscribe to the power of slumber, you might come across some interesting tidbits. For example, Huffington shares Thomas Edison’s personal frustrations with sleep and goes into data showing how driving while sleep-deprived looks scarily familiar to drunk-driving. But you won’t hear anything earth-shattering. Huffington’s book will reaffirm your beliefs and hopefully encourage you to do your part in shifting how society thinks of sleep.
I gave The Sleep Revolution 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. I might also mention that this was my first time fully listening to an audiobook. The narrator’s voice made it next to impossible for me to stay focused on the subject at hand. She sounds like Arianna, who I find challenging to listen to in settings other than a 15-minute interview.
There’s a bonus, though. If you’re struggling to doze off, give the audiobook a listen. The narrator just might do the trick for you.
And I don’t think Arianna would hate that.