We are in the midst of a sleep deprivation crisis, writes Arianna Huffington, the co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post. And this has profound consequences – on our health, our job performance, our relationships and our happiness.
What is needed, she boldly asserts, is nothing short of a sleep revolution. Only by renewing our relationship with sleep can we take back control of our lives. In her bestseller Thrive, Arianna wrote about our need to redefine success through well-being, wisdom, wonder, and giving. Her discussion of the importance of sleep as a gateway to this more fulfilling way of living struck such a powerful chord that she realized the mystery and transformative power of sleep called for a fuller investigation.
The result is a sweeping, scientifically rigorous, and deeply personal exploration of sleep from all angles, from the history of sleep, to the role of dreams in our lives, to the consequences of sleep deprivation, and the new golden age of sleep science that is revealing the vital role sleep plays in our every waking moment and every aspect of our health – from weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease to cancer and Alzheimer’s.
In The Sleep Revolution, Arianna shows how our cultural dismissal of sleep as time wasted compromises our health and our decision-making and undermines our work lives, our personal lives -- and even our sex lives. She explores all the latest science on what exactly is going on while we sleep and dream. She takes on the dangerous sleeping pill industry, and all the ways our addiction to technology disrupts our sleep. She also offers a range of recommendations and tips from leading scientists on how we can get better and more restorative sleep, and harness its incredible power.
In today's fast-paced, always-connected, perpetually-harried and sleep-deprived world, our need for a good night’s sleep is more important – and elusive -- than ever. The Sleep Revolution both sounds the alarm on our worldwide sleep crisis and provides a detailed road map to the great sleep awakening that can help transform our lives, our communities, and our world.
Arianna Huffington is the chair, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, a nationally syndicated columnist, and author of fourteen books.
In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet. In 2012, the site won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.
She has been named to Time Magazine's list of the world’s 100 most influential people and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union.
She serves on several boards, including HuffPost’s partners in Spain, the newspaper EL PAÍS and its parent company PRISA; Onex; The Center for Public Integrity; and The Committee to Protect Journalists.
Her 14th book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder was published by Crown in March 2014 and debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list.
It's like a high-quality college essay by someone who's done some research, read extracts from scientific papers and Googled what famous people from Roosevelt to, yes, Cameron Diaz (and Gwyneth Paltrow) have said about sleep. Then she's put it into a logical sequence: what is sleep, why do we need it, what happens when we don't get it, why is that bad, and what should we do about it. And she's sprinkled in some personal shit -- she likes long baths before bed, for instance. If you already think sleep is important and were hoping for advice: get an eyemask, eat better, don't look at your phone before bed and meditate.
I remember the good old days when I slept soundly every night. I didn’t have a problem getting a solid 8 hours. But nowadays, I struggle to get even six hours. And I know I’m not alone. It seems to be the favorite subject of conversation amongst my friends. But I am really trying to stay away from prescription sleep aids. So, I jumped on the chance to read Ariana Huffington’s book, The Sleep Revolution.
There are some interesting sections on the history of sleep but she doesn’t break any new ground discussing the health hazards of missing sleep. The problem with the book is it spends most of the time telling you why you need sleep. Hell, I know that! Tell me how to get it. Give me some new and different idea beyond sleep masks, low temps and no electronics.
Don’t waste your money or time on this book if you’re looking for ideas on how to improve your sleep.
Excellent book if you need to be convinced of the importance of sleep. Mediocre book if you need to know how to improve your sleep quantity or quality--only at the end does she share some tips and these are basic.
Arianna Huffington is most famous for starting the Huffington Post, which she modestly named after herself. In April 2007, after a particular gruelling period of work and family commitments, she collapsed at work. After visiting a number of doctors, her diagnosis was clear: she was burned out, totally and absolutely exhausted. Following that event, she changed her approach to life. She realised the importance of sleep and, once she realised how important sleep is to health, happiness and productivity, she became a sleep advocate, not only ensuring that she herself received the right amount of sleep but encouraging others to do so also. The Sleep Revolution: Transforming your Life, One Night at a Time is the result of that advocacy.
The Sleep Revolution is logically structured. The first section outlines the alarming sleep problem of contemporary society - 40 per cent of Americans are sleep deprived, which is a problem because the effects of a lack of sleep are the same as being drunk. This has huge social consequences, from being groggy and cranky to having reduced productivity and creativity. Of even more concern is the 60 per cent of American drivers who drive when drowsy, with dangerous and possibly fatal consequences. Because we haven't had enough sleep, we're tired; because we're tired, we pump ourselves with stimulants like sugar and caffeine; because we're wired with stimulants, we knock ourselves out with drugs. None of this is helped by the tablet and smartphone filled environments in which we live or workplaces that expect workers to answer emails at all times. As Huffington persuasively (and with extensive endnotes) argues, we are experiencing a sleep crisis.
Huffington then discusses the industry that has arisen around sleep, in particular the incredibly concerning use of sleeping pills by the American public. She reports that Ambien (known as Stilnox in Australia) makes up two-thirds of all of the sleeping pills sold in America. That is really terrible! I have no problem with Ambien the drug - I myself use it on occasion - but it is a really strong drug that can have terrible side effects, particularly when combined with alcohol. It is also addictive and stops working after long-term use, so is absolutely not a good drug to be prescribing on such a large scale. It should be a drug of last recourse, not the first thing you try. It's actually not easy to get in Australia - many bulk billing clinics have signs out the front saying that it is clinic policy not to prescribe it, so I'm not sure why doctors in America have such a different attitude. If Huffington's data is correct, then America has a big problem with sleeping pills.
This leads me into the best aspect of this book. Huffington places a lot of contemporary America's sleep problems within an American context, citing the famous Americans such as Thomas Edison who railed against the need to sleep. She notes that America's bootstraps mentality combined with the country's puritanical leanings combine to depict sleep as something lazy which should be done as little as possible. Politicians and executives are praised for getting by on tiny amounts of sleep. This is despite mountains of evidence that shows that sleep is necessary for mental and physical health and actually contributes to happier, healthier and more productive workers. Huffington says that if she had slept properly instead of trying to burn the candle at both ends, then she would have been more successful faster - her desire to do too much actually slowed her down rather than helping her progress.
Here, I am going to make an admission: I too am a sleep advocate. After sleeping terribly for a long time, about two years ago my doctor sent me for a bunch of tests. I did a sleep study and a lung function test and was diagnosed with a delayed sleep cycle, which is the official term for being a night owl. I was told I had two choices: either change my lifestyle to match my sleep cycle or reset my sleep cycle through the use of melatonin, lifestyle changes and cognitive behavioural therapy. I chose the second one and, after a bit of work, I now sleep well with a sleep cycle that fits my lifestyle. Without exaggeration, every single part of my life is better with good sleep. It takes work to maintain - very late weekend nights out are very rare - but I am happier and healthier than I have ever been. I constantly advocate the need to prioritise sleep to my friends (who I'm pretty sure wish I had never seen the sleep doctors now, but that's another story). The Sleep Revolution would not have helped me at all. The chapter on sleep disorders notes two sleep disorders: sleep apnea and insomnia. All other disorders are hand waved away. This is fairly symptomatic of the book. Huffington is not particularly concerned with the broader social forces that contribute to the social ills of which sleep problems both contribute to and are a symptom of. Instead, she focuses on what individuals can do to make their sleep better. In one way, this is a good thing - you can't change your inability to pay your bills by worrying about it in bed before sleep, so try to put it out of your mind (not, hopefully, as nauseatingly as the CEO friend of Arianna's who goes to sleep by counting his blessings through visualising his grandchildren jumping a fence in a field. Vomit). She notes that it's hard to prioritise sleep if you're trying to patch together a living from three or four part time jobs, then continues with recommending mediation, nice PJs and a bath before bed.
The Sleep Revolution is not a bad book. Huffington persuasively argues that sleep is important and why we need to prioritise it. The advice Huffington provides is good, if not groundbreaking. The book is definitely aimed at white collar professionals, which is fine. Huffington knows how to get her point across clearly and effectively. There are better books out there, in particular Night School by Richard Wiseman, but this is a good sleep primer.
A slight, extremely padded article with a thyroid condition. This is a book whose contract specified how many pages it needed to be, and by God, she hit her page count. I think the topic is important but I think this book misses the mark in every conceivable way.
To be fair, I have had a lifelong battle with sleep; plus, I enjoy research, so I was already very familiar with what Arianna Huffington wrote about in this book. For individuals who don't know much about anything sleep related then The Sleep Revolution would likely be an interesting read. The bottom line: Sleep is important. Get some.
Lots of us have trouble sleeping, and most of us know several things that we could do about it. Much of the information in The Sleep Revolution might not be new to us. However, the way that Arianna Huffington wrote the book made me want to take action right away to improve my sleep. Reading the book itself was a relaxing experience. Learning the extent of the sleep deprivation in our society and the array of problems that it causes motivated me to focus on better sleep immediately. For me, and for most people, the actions themselves aren’t difficult. Set a reasonable bedtime and stick to it, and put away the electronic devices a couple of hours before that. Use relaxation techniques as needed, before bedtime and if/when you get up at night. Sounds simple, but…
Huffington points out that our modern work ethic encourages a 24/7/365 commitment. Yet, as hours on the job increase, productivity, creativity, and personal satisfaction decline, sometimes with tragic results. The trucking industry, hospitals, high tech, politics, the media, and professional sports are all culprits. However, the work paradigm is beginning to shift. Huffington gives convincing evidence that more sleep on a regular basis improves physical, mental, and creative power. She cites examples of companies and teams that have switched over to the new sleep ethic with good on-the-job results. Just imagine how our country would improve if Congress jumped on the sleep bandwagon!
On another note, this volume contains information about sleep through history, dreams, circadian rhythms, the stages of sleep, and why sleep is so important for effective human functioning. The dos and don’ts for optimum sleep are discussed. There is information on traveling and jet lag, with suggestions about how to minimize their effects on sleep. References for sleep inducing meditations, comfortable mattresses, and even hotels catering to sleep—hopefully a new trend—are given. Various sleep gadgets are mentioned; for me the most intriguing is Re-Timer, eyeglass-like headgear that travelers, shift workers, and workers who need to adjust to daylight savings time can use to reset their body clock to fall asleep at their optimum bedtime.
Anyone who would like to sleep better will benefit from reading this book. Arianna Huffington is an excellent writer, not surprising to those of us who read the Huff Post. She draws in a variety of ideas from many different sources and presents them in an engaging and understandable manner. Highly recommended for the sleep deprived!
Nothing groundbreaking or revolutionary. I had read Huffington's 'Thrive' a few years ago and wasn't particularly interested in reading anything else by her. But then this book popped up at a time when sleep was not exactly coming to me easily so it seemed like it would be a good read. Luckily my library had a copy ready to go.
Unfortunately the book is really nothing new. I agree with other assessments that it's like she threw together a bunch of works from Google and other books about sleep, rest, health, etc. for this book. Part I is about the concept of sleep: what it is, what it does, the industry that surrounds it, the consequences of not getting enough, what happens when we are adequately rested, etc. This is fine, but a lot of it is not particularly interesting if you're looking for more about how to get more sleep (which is what I thought the book was about based on the title).
She does provide tips and tricks for how to sleep better, but there's nothing new here. Turn off your electronics, don't caffeinated drinks by a certain point of the day, be sure your bedroom is just used for sleep and sex, etc. I suppose if someone had absolutely no idea on how to sleep better, this might be a good "primer" but I don't know if there's much that can't be found via Google.
I suppose if I had to sum it up, this book might be good for an alien to discover thousands of years from now and wanted to know what "sleep" was and what its place was in human lives.
It's not terrible but I certainly wouldn't buy it either. Library if you're really interested.
I thought I'd be skeptical of this book, but actually Huffington says exactly what needs to be said about our chronic lack of sleep: That it's a problem driven by social, economic, and cultural factors. Many of the negative reviews here are a great example of this. They criticize the book for not telling them exactly how to get more sleep, as if it's an activity that needs to be done efficiently and effectively for the purpose of optimizing your work performance. Yet Huffington actually answers this question throughout the book: To get more sleep, truly value it, enjoy it, prioritize it, give yourself more time for it. The problem to be overcome by most people are the external pressures. She doesn't exactly tell us how to change an entire society, but maybe getting more and more people to respect sleep is a good start.
Possibly I am already too bought into how sleeping is awesome to enjoy this book. Also I rarely have trouble stopping working to sleep, so I didn't need many chapters of celebrity quotes convincing me I should. I did enjoy getting ammunition for why naps make me more creative and effective.
Meditation, wellness, and mindfulness. Three words we still don’t associate with the culture of work, especially in places like hedge funds and in Corporate America. This reality is changing very fast.
Now we care about not burning out employees. We sacrifice sleep in the name of productivity, but ironically, our loss of sleep, despite the extra hours we put in at work, adds up to more than 11 days of lost productivity per year per worker, or about $2,280. That means that the annual cost of sleep deprivation to the US economy is more than $63 billion. Insane.
That’s why it’s not rare that places that were run by caffeine, alcohol, and cocaine in the 80s, are now installing nap rooms, covering meditation and gym memberships, and making sure employees don’t burn out.
Entrepreneurs normally forget about this and they overwork to the point of exhaustion, myself included. Yes, it’s important to work hard and smart, but not if it risks the entire operation. It’s difficult when you’re bootstrapping to find balance.
The sleep deprivation the world is suffering is not going unnoticed anymore. Even Apple’s last iOS update brings attention to the importance of avoiding blue-lit screens like our smartphones and laptops. Arianna Huffington started to talk about this before it was cool.
Her new book “The Sleep Revolution” proves how important is to sleep, and how much better we all are when we sleep. We are happier, healthier, more productive, and with more energy.
I bought this book at LHR, enroute from Tokyo and destined for a week of jet lag recovery. Arianna Huffington famously broke her cheek bone when she fell asleep at her desk from fatigue and over work. So, given her street cred, I was hopeful it would provide some solid, employable tips. What a snooze, and not in a good way. The first half of the book tries to convince the reader of the value of sleep, which presumably is why they bought this dumb book to begin with. The second half has a few tips, though there's nothing really new here. It feels shallow and ghost written.
This much is simply a review of statistics and research as well as stories of those who have realized that they need sleep. I didn't find any earth shattering tips or a section that summarizes the strategies to sleep better. The book could have been written in half the number of pages.
With the passion of a university student and the charisma of a Greek grandma this book is full of information about sleeping. To be frank, didnt sleep well last night and has nothing to do with this book, so I going to be quick on my review and go back to sleep.
Very important topic. I pay attention to sleep research whenever it comes up in the news and this still had a lot of new information. Likely worth the read for everyone. It's a serious examination of the benefits of sleep and the serious health consequences of going without sufficient sleep.
An opening thank you to Fareed Zakaria and my mother who both introduced me to this book, though only the latter encouraged me to sit down and read it for myself.
I've never been a strong sleeper, and in fact it almost always takes an hour or more for me to fall asleep at night, and even when I do I'm easily woken up by sounds made by pets and so sleep has often been a chore for me, rather than a source of physical and spiritual re-nourishment. This book was life-changing for me in that it's gotten me to steadily alter my mindset about sleep, it's role in my life, and how it can benefit every element of my life and existence. The behaviors I've exhibited before are starting to change day by day.
I should note for the reader however that this book does have some problems. Throughout Huffington has inserted quotes about sleep from various sources of literature and while this can add some cultural depth to the book, it often comes across as distracting. Quotes are supplementary material and can be strong when used as epigraphs, but over time I just started to skip them. The other real weakness of the book is that it often reads more like a long list of facts rather than a real argument or personal narrative. This can still interest the reader for there was plenty of fascinating information, but Huffington really needs some unifying element to connect of all this together.
Still, I would recommend this book to the reader because sleep is something that is changing dynamically with our culture and society. I always said I thought sleep was a "waste of time" and while on some level I still think it is, I've reevaluated my lifestyle and rather than run from sleep, I'm learning to let go and just relax.
I really enjoyed this book, not necessarily because it provides a detailed step-by-step process of how to get more sleep, but more because I felt it was an interesting and thorough look into the history of sleep, our emerging attitudes about its importance that often seems at odds with our corporate, capitalistic structure, and the general discussion about why and how to make sleep a priority.
I've always believed sleep was important, so on that front there was nothing earth-shattering about this particular book. Still, I feel the majority of us struggle with how to balance sleep with our ever more demanding schedules.
A mother of four who gave birth four times in five years, my thirties can be characterized as sleep deficient as I spent the better part of seven years pregnant, nursing, or both. I honestly don't think I slept well until my early forties, and now I protect my sleep with the ferocity of a mother bear protecting her cub. Bottom line: if you value your life and your phone (in the case of my teens) you don't wake mom once she entered la-la land.
Ironically, I generally don't have trouble falling asleep. To the contrary, I often climb in bed with the intent of decompressing with a quick game on the Kindle, only to fall asleep with Kindle in hand. And for the most part, I sleep soundly, waking up once to use the bathroom and then right back to bed. I average about 6.5-7.5 hours a night, sometimes a little less, occasionally a little more.
Yet every once in a while, I will get awoken shortly after I've fallen asleep, usually because one of the kids decides to get up and use the bathroom, or heads to the kitchen for a late evening snack. On these rare occasions, I sometimes struggle to fall back asleep. I stare up at the dark ceiling, filled with anger and anxiety, especially on nights where I am scheduled to work a 12 or 13 hour shift the next day. And the more I fret about sleep, the less likely it is that I will. Finally, about 2 a.m. I'll head down to the medicine cabinet for a couple of benadryl, which more often than not helps the process along.
Based on Huffington's book, I'd have to say, it sounds like I'm doing better than a number of people out there, still, as someone who prides herself on caring for her body, I figure I can always do better. So, the night after finishing the book, I head up to bed an hour early. Make sure that lights are out by 10, determined to get at least 7.5-8 hours. All seems to be going as planned until I get woken at midnight. I immediately begin to stress. Not only do I have one of my horrendous long days ahead of me, but now more than ever I am convinced how important getting those precious ZZZZs are. And the more I stress, the less likely it seems I am going to fall back asleep.
I do eventually. Fall asleep. Sometime around 3 a.m. Yet in a cruel twist of fate, I think part of my difficultly came from reading this damn book. I've never been too concerned about sleep as I generally feel pretty energetic. But now? Now, I'm worried.
And to add insult to injury, it happened again just last night.
Luckily, I realize that this is just a phase that will surely pass. That said, view this as a cautionary tale and read at your own risk. LOL.
Boken är skriven som en medioker skoluppsats. Författaren saknar uppenbart en djupare förståelse av ämnet och även om hon påstår sig ha samlat in den senaste forskningen, lyser den med sin frånvaro. I stället blir man bl.a. serverad med olika åsikter om vad kändisar som Gwyneth Paltrow har att säga om sömn. Hela boken utgörs till stora delar av olika citat om sömn - med en klar överrepresentation av kändisar, inte av personer som kunde tänkas ha några vetenskapliga insikter om ämnet. Bokens struktur påverkas negativt av dessa citat: Bokens tempo blir stressigt och den hoppar från citat till citat, ofta utan att komma till någon analys eller slutsats.
Första tredjedelen av boken går åt till att förklara varför sömn är viktigt - något jag är säker på att alla som plockar upp boken är medvetna om, vilket gör denna del oskäligt lång. Den som söker djupare förståelse om sömnens påverkan på människan, hur man förbättrar kvaliteten på sin sömn etc. får leta någon annanstans. De övriga kapitlen försöker behandla dessa saker, men misslyckas.
En intressant sak som boken avspeglar är synen i USA på sömn. Enligt boken är sömn mycket nedvärderat och många skryter om hur lite de sover - och på hur lite sömn de klarar sig. Efter att ha levt i Finland/Norden under hela mitt liv känner jag inte igen mig i denna syn på sömn, utan tycker tvärtom att sömn är något som värderas högt och prioriteras.
There is a good amount of interesting information in this book. Clearly there has been a lot of research and info gathering been done for this book and by the author, and I did learn a handful of new things about sleep so that was interesting.
But this book is overly focused on the USA specially and the sleeping problems that are happing there, which is rather frustrating especially since the book clearly states at least twenty time that sleeping problem so and the need to revolutionize our sleeping habit sis a world wide problem and at its worst in Japan and other Asian countries... still almost all examples and ideas, and resources and other little things?? All American based! Why? I don't get it?
Either make it clear that this book is basically written for the USA and other people can read it but it's heavily focused for readers from the hat country or make it more relatable to other areas of the world!
Especially If it is a book about a topic that is completely location independent!
All in all an okay book but I found kind it overall disappointing and in large parts even frustrating!
I'll save you the nine + hours this audiobook lasts. 1) Sufficient sleep is important for physical, cognitive, and psychological well-being 2) All the sleep advice you've heard everywhere else (keep a regular schedule, don't look a screens right before bed, make sure your room is dark and a comfortable temperature, don't eat large, heavy meals right before bed, cut of caffeine intake in the early afternoon, etc). 3) Endless padding, self-congratulatory anecdotes, an entire chapter of sports stats, and a weird and unnecessary helping of heteronormativity, gender essentialism, and fatphobia.
Perhaps an appropriate last book to conclude my 2019 reading challenge, as I’ve definitely read less and slept more in the last week since I’ve been reading this. Perhaps it could have been 100 pages instead of 300, but I found Huffington’s tone and clever quips to be engaging rather than annoying, so I didn’t mind. The book is well-researched and convincing in its argument about the vital importance of getting enough sleep. Definitely a lifestyle change for me, but one that long overdue and has had positive benefits so far.
A needed book to bang on the drums that sleep deprevation is not a sign of a healthy workplace. I have alarm clocks ringing always when somebody brings up a 48h hackathon or how little they sleep. Everybody should sleep at least 8h, and probably even more. Many great athletes also mentioned 10-12h sleep. But it's difficult to not see sleeping as "doing nothing" and this is probably the main reason this book is important - to reframe doing nothing into "recovering, rebuilding and rebooting" your OS that is your mind and body.
I would just wish the book had more research and quality scientific interviews and less chit-chat quality.
Nothing worse than a book telling you the things you so painfully know already, presenting them in an ever so boring manner. There is nothing special about citing a few research papers and giving examples of 1 or 2 gadgets that probably cost more than the average person can afford.
Jag älskar att fascineras över något vanligt och till och med banalt - som till exempel sömn. Den här sömnboken är emellertid inte den jag skulle rekommendera. Dålig översättning och endast ytskrap om det som faktiskt fascinerar. Men visst är sömn alltid intressant att läsa om!
“At the end of the day (literally), being able to do something as natural as going to sleep shouldn’t require chronically medicating ourselves or putting ourselves on a nightly war footing against all the screens, foods, and activities that stand between us and a good night’s sleep. Rather, it starts with something as simple as it is profound: asking ourselves what kind of life we want to lead, what we value, what gives our lives meaning.”