Tuesday, January 3, 2012

TED Talk Tuesday: Sleep Your Way to the Top

Want to be more productive?
More inspired?
More joyful?

Arianna Huffington has a simple but revolutionary idea to help you achieve all those goals:
Get more sleep!

In her short (4-minute) TED talk, she argues that getting more sleep is the key to a better life.

I have to admit, the first time I heard this talk, I resisted the idea that getting enough sleep was that important.  After all, I am #1 a perpetual night owl (if it were up to me, I'd stay up until 3 or 4 a.m. every night) and #2 one of those people who like to brag about how few hours of sleep I had last night.  It's almost like a masochistic badge of honor.

But then I think about how I function when I'm sleep-deprived.  Even after a couple cups of coffee or a Red Bull, my mind is still crawling through cobwebs, and even if I convince myself that my performance didn't suffer (yeah, right), the bigger issue is that when I'm that tired, it's impossible to truly be in the moment.

Beyond that, it's downright dangerous.  Studies show that sleep deprivation is actually as bad as being drunk.

Plus, the crazy thing is - I really LOVE sleep.  I love waking up after a really great night's sleep.  I love drifting off to snooze-land when it's super cold out with a mountain of blankets piled on top of me.  I love the cool underside of my pillow on a mid-day nap.  So why do I deprive myself of sleep?

My theory is its our culture's preoccupation with activity.  We are constantly doing something.  Even when we're lounging at the beach on vacation, we're still on our smartphones posting on Facebook or checking our stocks.  We are obsessed with cramming activity into every single minute, that sleep feels unproductive.

But Arianna is right.  Sleep can actually make us more productive.

Check out her quick TED talk.
I'm off to take a nap ;)

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