Culture

The Sleep Revolution

In her latest book, The Sleep Revolution, Arianna Huffington argues that the only way to move forward is to close our eyes and get some rest.

Are you ready for a revolution? Prepare yourselves. By that, we mean take a warm bath, meditate, and get under the covers. Though we may be talking about the most peaceful revolution in history, it is also one of the most challenging.

In her latest book, The Sleep Revolution, Arianna Huffington argues that the only way to move forward is to close our eyes and get some rest. Bedtime is how we can take back control of our lives.

The book, dedicated “to all the millions of people around the world who are sick and tired of being sick and tired,” begins by citing concrete evidence of the sleep-deprived epidemic sweeping the world. She then goes on to tell us what to do about it.

We live in a society where everyone is constantly striving to be “busier” than everyone else, a goal based in the common belief that productivity equals success. Huffington dares to defy convention by offering an alternative.

She has identified the main problem:

Our cultural assumption that overwork and burnout are the price we must pay in order to succeed is at the heart of our sleep crisis.

This book is the perfect complement to Huffington’s company, Thrive Global, which offers solutions to promote the wellbeing and performance of individuals and businesses alike. With a group of trustworthy experts by her side, Huffington is accelerating the cultural shift towards healthy success. Similarly, in her book, she reexamines our priorities and pushes to redefine “success” as achieved through wellbeing, wisdom, and wonder – not wealth.
By helping us keep the world in perspective, sleep gives us a chance to refocus on the essence of who we are.

By helping us keep the world in perspective, sleep gives us a chance to refocus on the essence of who we are.

The Sleep Revolution strikes the perfect balance between professional and personal. While she includes a good amount of science-based research, she also shares anecdotes and experiences from her own life. Perhaps the most memorable is how in April of 2007, Huffington collapsed from exhaustion. She wants others to learn from her mistakes.

Huffington sees sleep as a manifestation of other life stressors. She writes: “To be able to leave the outside world behind each night when we go to sleep, we need to first recognize that we are more than our struggles and more than our victories and failures. We are not defined by our jobs and titles, and we are vastly more than our resumes. By helping us keep the world in perspective, sleep gives us a chance to refocus on the essence of who we are.”

Much of our society is still operating under the collective delusion that sleep is simply time lost to other pursuits, that it can be endlessly appropriated at will to satisfy our increasingly busy lives and overstuffed to-do lists

Time and again, Huffington has spoken about how we recharge our iPhones, and put our laptops to sleep; somehow, though, we forget to do the same for ourselves.

The Sleep Revolution is our wake-up call. According to Huffington, “much of our society is still operating under the collective delusion that sleep is simply time lost to other pursuits, that it can be endlessly appropriated at will to satisfy our increasingly busy lives and overstuffed to-do lists.”

Sure, getting a good night’s sleep is easier said than done. It’s also true that technology and hard work are necessary in most of our lives today. However, with just a few small changes, there is a sleepily ever after in our foreseeable futures.

Huffington writes about fairytales like Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, where a dark spell casts heroines into a deep slumber. Their only hope is to be awakened by a magical Prince Charming. In Huffington’s story, however, “we have to be our own Prince Charming – to wake ourselves up by turning our gaze from the projects and distractions of the outside world to the many miracles within ourselves. That’s the great sleep awakening.”

If you are looking to get to sleep early, save this read for the morning. Rich with wisdom, and witty, down-to-earth prose, this book definitely won’t put you to sleep.

Rebecca Leffler

Rebecca Leffler is a writer, journalist and wellness consultant. She is the author of best-selling French book Green, Glam & Gourmande and follow-up title Green, Glam & Happy. Her book “Très green, très clean, très chic: Eat (and live!) the new French way with plant-based, gluten-free recipes for every season” was released in 2015. Follow Rebecca at Lafleurparisny.com.

Instagram

Back to Top