Sleep is something that I pass on when life is hectic. There aren’t enough hours in the day to cook, clean, laundry, work, take care of my family, my health, etc. Something always has to give...and sleep is the easiest one to take off of the list. Laying in bed for eight hours sometimes feels like I wasted a huge chunk of time when I could get a head start on the next day or finish up the prior day. Add in a writing deadline and there is no time to sleep. I like to think that sleep is a bank, you add in extra hours sometimes and other times you deplete it. Some how, some way it all balances out. And honestly, a nice pot of coffee in the morning seems to fix any amount of sleep deprivation from the night before. I know I am not alone with this idea. I can’t say that I have always thought this was a good idea, but I am young and if there was a time to do it, it would be now. We have all felt that pressure of paying our “dues” now so we can enjoy our hardwork later.
Well, after hearing Arianna Huffington speak a month ago about her wake up call of too much work, travel, etc and the need for sleep. In her words, “sleep your way to the top!” So what does this mean? My first thought was of course Arianna Huffington can say, we need to prioritize sleep above all else in our day well because she was Arianna Huffington. What about those of us who are still trying to make our way into a place where can see ourselves as successful. Arianna was already named of Forbe’s Most Influential Women as well as the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, of course she could take time to sleep. She had made already made it in my eyes. But according to Arianna, money and power make up only two of the three legs on a stool. Yes money and power can sustain us for a long while but eventually we fall over. Our health is the other key factor to success. Stress and stress-related illnesses are literally killing us. She also made a point to say that the way society defines success and the way we remember an individual’s success are very very different. Society reveres the resume and financial successes of an individual whereas when we speak about a loved once we eulogize the passions, love, laughs and memories shared with that individual no the long hours he/she spent working, missed soccer games and family events.
So as I thought about what Arianna Huffington spoke about, I came to realize that burnout, which I felt like I was on the verge of, would never lead to where I want to be. Lying in a hospital bed exhausted would definitely take me away from my family and away from my dream television gig. I was starting to think that if I kept putting off sleep, relaxation and time to daydream and I would be putting myself farther from dreams and goals. By taking care of myself, I would be thinking more clearly, be more efficient and exude better energy out into the world and in some way that would take me more closer to my dreams.
So I decided to practice some of the ideas that Arianna spoke about. I am making more of an active effort to put away my technology at night and go to sleep, not scroll through my social media apps randomly during the day and spend more time present. In the two weeks that I have done this, I am feeling more fulfilled, happier and more able to get things done during the day and my writers block is starting to lift. While it was strange to prioritize sleep, there is something very profound and true to Arianna Huffington’s Thrive....join me in my journey to sleep more!