Sleep your way to a meaningful life
A direct quote from Arianna Huffington's The Sleep Revolution, the following quote serves as a pointed summary of a growing 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 had collapsed, breaking her cheekbone and cutting her eye. After weeks of medical examinations, a cause was named—extreme exhaustion. Stressful 18-hour work days and a nightly peak of three to four hours of sleep had finally caught up with her.
The book serves as a testament to the criticality of a good night's rest 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 influences us to wear sleep deprivation as a badge of honor.
My sleep(y) take
I would say that 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—long form mentions of meditation, exercise, limiting device use, and appropriating a pair of go-to pajamas. For the rest of us who already subscribe to the power of slumber, you will come across some interesting tidbits—for example, Thomas Edison's frustration and criticism of sleep, or how sleep-deprived driving looks starkly familiar to drunk driving, but you won't be hearing 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 also might 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, the narrator just might do the trick for you. And I don't think Arianna would hate that.