Thomas Edison slept only three hours a night. Winston Churchill got by on five. Richard Branson also clocks in five. And Marissa Mayer subsides on only four hours of shut-eye a night. Arianna Huffington - president and co-founder of The Huffington Post - on the other hand, makes sure she gets no less than eight hours a night.
Since 2007, when Huffington's hypercharged schedule left her so exhausted she collapsed, waking up in a pool of her own blood with a broken cheekbone, she's been questioning success and its link to sleep.
Like many of us, Huffington spent her days whizzing from one event to another, recharging on Starbucks coffee and willpower alone, rejecting the little thing we all assume is holding us back: sleep.
Following her catastrophic fall, Huffington searched for answers. Why had she collapsed? Was living life in a zombie-like state the true symbol of success? Should sleep really be written off in order to be successful?
All this questioning led to the birth of Thrive, her 2014 bestselling book which focuses on redefining success through well-being, wisdom and wonder (aka 'the third metric.')
Drawing from the fact that it's a bestseller, you can see this book was a hit. People, inevitably, were intrigued. When the greats like Churchill and Edison survived on so little sleep a night, it felt like Huffington was breaking down the walls of science when she presented her theory that more sleep equals more success.
But Thrive didn't just focus on sleep alone. It also delved into topics like meditation, mindfulness and exercise. Things that nurture us.
Realizing she'd really planted a seed in peoples' minds with her thesis of sleep and success, Arianna Huffington decided to devote an entire book to the study of sleep and how it benefits our lives. Hello, 'The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at A Time.'
This is the kind of book everybody needs on their bedside table. The good sleepers and the bad sleepers. We all need to know why sleep is so important, what it means, and how it can change our lives.
This book explores everything to do with sleep: the dangers of not sleeping, the meaning of dreams, how technology destroys our sleep, and how getting forty winks can lead to true success. But that's not it. You'll discover so much more in this masterpiece and you won't be able to stop yourself from dog-earing at least every other page.
From learning that one American falls asleep at the wheel every second to realizing that starving ourselves of sleep wrecks our brains to discovering that the whole invention of Google was conceived in a dream, every little fact in this book is mesmerizing.
Sleep, according to Huffington and hundreds of scientists, can lead to better job performance, better relationships, better health and ultimately, a better life. It's easy to fall into that trap of thinking more work equals better results and that sleeping is just getting in the way and stopping you from achieving things. The fact is, it's the not sleeping part that's going to get you in trouble. Skipping or skimping on sleep is a recipe for incompetence in every single aspect of your life.
In The Sleep Revolution, Huffington urges us to take a break from our glowing screens, slip into cozy pajamas, brew up some lavender tea and snuggle down in bed for eight hours of solid snoozing. That doesn't sound too bad, does it?
Quoting a line in the book, 'As our days become more and more consumed by doing, by distractions and urgency, sleep, waiting for us every night, offers a surrender.'
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