Arianna Huffington collapsed in 2007 due to stress. To help others like herself, she wrote the book The Sleep Revolution. She learned that when you care about yourself, your cognitive performance improves. In fact, she discusses Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos’s experience with sleep. If he gets less than 8 hours, his decisions decrease in value anywhere from 5 to 20 percent. He says the future of Amazon depends more on the quality of his decisions than the quantity.
The following are other insights that were shared in her interview:
- 99% of people need 7-9 hours. 1-1.5% of the population doesn’t need as much sleep.
- A sleep study with college students revealed that when they slept 8 hours, they had high levels of lepton, the hunger-suppressing hormone. When they got 6 hours of sleep, they had high levels of ghrelin, the hormone that signals that you’re hungry.
- When you’re sleep deprived, your body physiologically craves simple carbohydrates and sugars.
- The foods we eat matter. The “good bugs” that live in our gut affect our sleep and whether or not we have anxiety and depression. (Stay away from sugar, simple carbohydrates, and processed foods.)
- We used to rely on candle light and gas lamps, which have a lot of red and yellow spectrum light. This spectrum of light is very calming and induces sleep.
- Blue light is disruptive to sleep. Most of our devices have blue light.
- The electromagnetic waves from your phone can get in the way of sleep. (I put my phone on airplane mode during sleeping hours.)
- Night life is a time for recharging and reconnecting with the deeper part of ourselves. Pick a time and declare it the end of your working day. Turn off your phone and charge it outside of your room. Arianna says your phone is a repository for every demand on your attention.
- A hot bath or shower is a ritual cleansing of the day.
- Only read physical books in bed that have nothing to do with work. This activity prepares our brains for sleep.
Sweet Dreams to You!
What has helped you get more high-quality sleep?