Sleep your way to the top: Arianna Huffington

If you can’t remember the last time you had a good sleep, you wouldn’t be the only one. Our generation is packed with highly ambitious minds, determined to see their dreams realized with every opportunity. We work long hours to make advancements at work, attend time-consuming events, maintain side projects, and then squeeze in fitness training because we are also health conscious. Some would call us super human multitaskers, others – near burn out, because we don’t get enough sleep.

MUST READ: Thrive

In her latest book entitled, Thrive, Arianna Huffington introduces a third metric to the meaning of success and argues that instead of only valuing money and power as currencies of success, we should value a life of well-being, wisdom, and wonder, as true components of success. Arianna dedicates a chapter to stressing the importance of sleep and how a lack of sleep can be detrimental to your life. She offers stats and personal accounts by the world’s most influential people, who agree that sleep should be an integral part of your life. Sure, there are times when you will need to burn the midnight oil to meet a deadline, and times when you will have to ‘lose sleep’ to attend to an urgent matter, but this no-sleep lifestyle that is becoming the norm in our society, and often boasted about on social media, is really unhealthy.

Thrive also delves into the importance of meditation, and how clearing your mind can largely improve your well-being. You can download the book now on Takealot.com.

Sleep and Weight loss

Have you ever noticed how really slim people are always early sleepers while most insomniacs also happen to be overweight? It’s not a coincidence. The Daily Mail reports that sleep deprivation slows the metabolism, causing the body to use less energy. The article also uses scientific evidence to highlight that people who sleep less are prone to snack more.  Read the full article, here.

Sleep and Productivity

There’s a serious misconception that working longer hours without breaks means that you’re working harder. The average attention span for human beings – without distraction is 8.25 seconds. This means that when you’re doing one thing for longer than 8.25 seconds, you will lose focus and your thoughts will drift to another topic. Refocusing on the same topic for a long time can become tiring, and boring. This is why it’s better to take breaks; clear your focus or steer your focus, and then revisit the main topic that you were concentrating on.

A study conducted by the Center for Advancing Health showed that teens with late bedtimes have lower grades. The study, which examined 2700 teens aged 13 -18, revealed that teens who went to sleep at 11:15 pm or later, showed signs of emotional distress and performed worse than early sleepers on cognitive tasks. If this is not an ironic wake-up call, continue reading.

Sleep and Relationships

Dr Theresa E DiDonato writes on Psychology Today, that sleep deprivation can not only make you less attractive (as well-rested individuals are seen as more attractive), but that a lack of sleep hurts your humour and happiness as humour requires high-level thinking.  DiDonato also suggests that low sleepers are prone to more negative emotions and making bad decisions, which causes conflict in relationships. Read the full article, here.

While reading Thrive, and conducting my own research on sleep deprivation, I’ve decided to begin a 30 Day sleep Challenge to get at most seven to nine hours of sleep per day. This will cause my social media interactions to take a dive but I am willing to risk losing followers if it means that I can live a healthier and more productive life.

I will be documenting my sleep challenge, and would love if you could join me. Connect with me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, or email me directly to robyn@bewhole.co.za.

Feature photo: Pixabay

Author: Robyn

  • A good article for insomniacs like me.. Tempts me to change the routine..

    • Thanks Swathi. You should definitely consider it. Even if you start by sleeping thirty minutes early than you usually do and gradually add more sleep time. It’s literally a matter of life or death.

  • You’re doing a great job with this site, Robyn. Good job! It’s sleek and well designed.

    • Thank you so much Janet! It means a great deal coming from you. Much appreciated.