Arianna Huffington’s Big Idea

In case you’re still looking for new year’s resolutions, here’s a good one from Arianna Huffington, co-founder of The Huffington Post.

Speaking at TEDWomen, Huffington in the video below encourages her audience of powerful women to — wait for it — sleep. Yup, you’ve read that right: sleep.

Drawing from her own experience (she fainted from exhaustion two and a half years ago) and using good humour, Huffington made a good case for her simple (and yet big) idea.

Many studies have confirmed the value of getting lots of sleep. Studies have suggested, for instance, that consistently getting a good night’s sleep might benefit your heart’s health and help you avoid the common cold. Huffington concluded that sleep can lead to “a more productive, more inspired, more joyful life”. Sleep a lot and be successful? Sounds like a good deal to me!

Getting enough sleep is a challenge for many because they can’t sleep early enough, but here are some things that have worked for me in the past:

  • Doing Bikram’s yoga. It tires me out and leaves me with no other choice but to hit the sack.
  • Running for 30 minutes in the daytime. See Bikram’s yoga.
  • Getting my life organized. Because it leads to less stress, which lowers the chances that I’ll be up late.
  • Avoiding coffee after 1:00pm. Let’s face it: caffeine isn’t always your friend, especially once you’re past a certain time.

I’m no expert in this field though — in fact, I’m guilty of sacrificing sleep during busy times — and so I’d recommend reading this article that offers 15 tips on how to get a better sleep instead.

What do you think? Can sleep help you become a more successful person? Or is sleep overrated?


62 responses to “Arianna Huffington’s Big Idea

  1. I think this is great advice, too. I’m hoping to phase caffeine out of my diet but it’s tough – congratulations to you for being able to go without it after 1 p.m.!

  2. I think at a certain point no amount of sleep can overcome the accumulated fatigue you end up carrying with you in the late 50’s.

    My advise is hustle while you have the hustle and can still recover quickly.

    LOL hope that helps.

  3. Running is always a good thing…will definitely make you tired but very healthy ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. i believe any type of exercise would be good! but i have been wanting to try bikram yoga and i will probably get a few session in this month. ill make sure to keep some of her ideas in mind. good post

  5. Good advice for sure. I think many of us are sleep deprived.

    Along with getting enough sleep may I also suggest incorporating some sort of active relaxation – meditation, deep breathing etc – during our waking hours. Being awake and aware during a time of relaxation is good for keeping our stress hormones down and refreshing our mind. Here’s link to one technique I often recommend to patients:

    Happy new year and congratulations on being freshly pressed!

  6. Nice one, KC. I’m also a great believer in the “Power Nap” – though grabbing one at the office might be a problem !

  7. Arianna Huffington is an interesting person. I’m not a fan of her politics and her accent drives me nuts! But we all KNOW sleep is important, so to me it is a no brainer…Thanks Arianna for your wonderful input!! Whatever!

  8. Ah, the irony: I’ve lost sleep recently because of Arianna herself…I’m addicted to the HuffPo Divorce site! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. I agree. Sleep is very helpful. Lately, I need to be in bed for at least 8 hours, or else I am useless the next day. The problem is that I seem to wake up just as tired as when I went to bed. I can’t figure out what could be causing that.

    โค Milieu

    • Thanks for the comment, Milieu. I’m no expert with this issue, but I do hope that you get that figured out somehow! Keep me posted!

      It’s great to hear from a fellow Vancouverite, by the way. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Ariana Huffington talks about freaking sleeping enough? What a useless load of crap. People have known about the importance of sleep for years. Anyone remember the “Early to bed, early to rise…” maxim? How old is that. Thumbs down to Ariana Huffington for wasting people’s time.

  11. Well it’s hard man to keep that promise…but I’ll be watching you…as for me 2011 is marked by my new web site:
    I’m not yet sure it’s famous enough as your idea.
    Sleep well.


  12. Very interesting article….happy 2011!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I laughed right out loud when Arianna suggested we sleep our way to the top. I regularly get at least 8 hours of sleep. It’s the best.

  14. Sleeping is not overrated or a new idea, getting to sleep however is most people’s problem. I get some of my best ideas trying to de-clutter my mind at the end of a day. Solved my insomina by keeping a notebook and pen by my bed. Let it go and do the “Honk-Shooo” my literal interpretaion of what snoring sounds like.. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. nearlynormalized

    “What, me worry…” Not in this or any other lifetime…enjoy your youth and find work in your later years, that way ones youth is not wasted. Old HIPPIE that still believes in smiling.

  16. Sleep is totally overrated. I haven’t slept more than ::yawn:: four hours a night in weeks and I’m ::yawn:: a fully functioning employee … zzzzzzzzzzz …

  17. My husband is adamant that 8 hours sleep per night is too many – he once had a professor in university (at UBC, no less) who declared 3-4 hours the correct amount. This has been a sore spot between us for fifteen years, I would love to get my hands on that professor’s neck.
    I adhere faithfully to my 8 hours of shut-eye, even 7 hours leaves me feeling sub-par the next day. As always, I am in full agreement with Arianna Huffington.

    • Hmm. Interesting that a UBC professor would say that. Seven hours is usually enough for me. I think the # of sleep hours a person needs varies from person to person. Perhaps that professor was talking from personal experience (as opposed to a scientific study)?

  18. Sleep – student’s best friend ๐Ÿ˜€

  19. I’ll take any excuse to sleep! lol Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  20. This is the best resolution I have seen YET! I’m so stealing it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. I’m afraid I sacrifice too much sleep to blogging–and blogging from Haiti, nonetheless. Thanks for this reminder–the message that power’s to be found in betting back to basics!

    • I’m also trying to figure out how to not sacrifice sleep and still get things done. Good luck, Kathryn!

      You have a great blog, by the way. Your husband is going important work there in Haiti.

  22. I am going to try and get more sleep by simply going to bed earlier. I am, by nature, a night owl. Unfortunately, the world does not function on my night time schedule of creativity. So, I end up losing precious hours of sleep. There was a time when I slept 8 to 10 hours a night. Boy, did I look and feel a whole lot better then! Lately, there have been too many nights of 4 or 5 hours only. Just can’t do that for too long without suffering somewhere. A good reminder and a good post!

  23. No coffee after 1:00pm??? I’m always proud of myself when I skip Dunkin Donuts before heading into work to teach my evening classes… and those don’t start until 5 or 6:oopm ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But your post raised some good points, and now I can go back to stealing a quick nap before I head out for the night and not feel like such a lame old lady ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. sleep = happiness. i need my 8 hours. well, i want my 8 hours…

  25. chickeninabreadpan

    I just started suffering from sporatic primary insomnia and is SUCKS. I love sleep and I miss it and I want it back regularly.

    Thanks for the post, Kevin–and the sad reminder that I’m not getting enough sleep…maybe it’s this new blog thing.

    I’m gonna go try to catch some zzzzz’s.


  26. Evie Garone writes that Arianna’s accent “drive (her) nuts”. Then goes on sarcastically to “thank” her for a “no brainer” that “we all KNOW”. Does Evelyn Garone belong by chance to the Tea party, and perhaps prefers Palin’s “Big Brainers”? Bigotry is hatching much misery and wars in this world. Let us be Peace Makers, and let us love all humanity regardless of their accent, colour of skin, or ethnic origins.

  27. Good advice. I usually get 6-8 but if I didn’t have a schedule I could easily do 9 or 10. Going to sleep isn’t a problem for me……it’s having to wake up.
    I love to sleep in.

  28. Old idea but new studies are showing better sleep makes for better weight mantenance. Go figure!

  29. I don’t agree with Ms. Huffington on many things, but she is correct on this. Getting enough sleep is essential to everyone’s health. There is no shame in getting your 8 hours every night!

  30. sleeping is totally key. love it :]

  31. Sleep is a MUST! I didn’t realize how much rest (or a total lack of it) can effect a person until I had my son a year ago. Going from 6 to 8 hours a night to a miniscule 2 hours completely altered my personality and my ability to be productive and happy!

  32. Jeremiah Stanghini

    For anyone interested in sleep, I would highly recommend Brendan Brazier’s Thrive or Thrive Fitness. In it, he talks about how the foods we eat (caffeine-included) has a major impact on how much we sleep AND the quality of sleep we get. The guy is a vegan tri-athlete. Ironically, KC, he’s from right where you are – Vancouver.

    With Love and Gratitude,


  33. Oh yes, we all should make sure we’re getting enough sleep. Sleep is underrated sometimes; people don’t see the importance of it. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed. Good night and sweet dreams! ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. I recently realized that my occasional headaches that last for 2-3 days are actually a result of insufficient sleep.

  35. Wow, Arianna actually had something sensible to say. Too bad she normally has poop coming out of her brain and mouth, specifically on the topic of politics and socio-cultural issues.

    Sleep? I get what I need when I need it. I’m a stay-at-home dad of two with twins shortly on the way. Sleep is for the weak.

    Actually, I agree with Mrs. Huffington on the topic of sleep, but the issue is a no-brainer.

  36. I LOVE sleep, my body just does not do well with it!!!
    Great post!
    Congratulations on being freshly pressed!!

  37. Ted talks…stuff white people like. And me. Need…sleep….

  38. Wonderful post, I like your impressive blog, found you on FP.

    Please visit my interesting training blog.

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