I have a friend whose frantic lifestyle is fueled by regular napping. He has a very strict stay-at-home policy for Monday nights, but the rest of the week he can be found out and about at various networking happy hours, wine tastings and charity galas around town. He manages to do this all while working a full-time job, holding leadership roles in various organizations and spending time with family and friends.
Shortly after I met him, I asked him how he manages to maintain such an active social calendar.
“Oh, I take naps,” he said matter-of-factly.
He made it sound so obvious! Something that made so much sense in college had, somehow, decades later, become completely foreign. Of course! Figure out how to get more sleep!
Sleep On It
If you’ve seen Arianna Huffington (of Huffington Post fame) speak anytime in the last 3-4 years, you’ve heard her evangelize about sleep. She became the High Priestess of Sleep several years ago, after she fainted from exhaustion and ended up with a broken cheekbone and a bunch of stitches. (Her 2010 TEDWomen talk will turn you into a sleep disciple, if you aren’t already).
Reams of research back up the notion that sleep is critical for our physical health, but it’s even more important if we want to be at our best in our work and home lives.
I challenge all of us busy, ambitious, overbooked, multitasking women to follow Arianna’s lead and repair our bodies and minds with consistent shuteye. If she, as an author, entrepreneur and tireless advocate for women’s rights, can develop a regular sleep schedule, I dare say we all can.
In fact, I’ll bet that much of Arianna’s recent success (if nothing else, certainly her book The Sleep Revolution) can be attributed to her re-acquaintance with her pillow.
At the risk of stating the obvious, I know that when I have the luxury of a regular sleep schedule, I feel more alert, more intellectually curious, and more capable of solving problems and thinking critically. Why would I not take the steps to turn that luxury into a normal occurrence?
So, let’s join Arianna in unlocking those big ideas! Let’s all sleep on it… and then tell me all about those brilliant thoughts that manifest themselves after a full night’s sleep in the comments section. Enjoy your snoozefests!