The Sleep Revolution

I’ve always known the name Arianna Huffington. To me, she was always synonymous with The Huffington Post. Earlier this year, I started listening to Oprah’s Super Soul Podcast. If you haven’t listened to it yet, I highly encourage it. Lots of episodes from this podcast have had a lasting effect on me, but none as much as the episode with Arianna Huffington. Why? Because she was talking about “thriving”. Not just at work, which is where we commonly place the term and associate it with success, she was talking about thriving as an entire person in every aspect of life.

So I went to Barnes and Noble and bought her book Thrive, which I am still to read. While there I saw another book by her titled The Sleep Revolution. Having insomnia since the age of 8, this intrigued me so I bought it, too.

This. Book. Is. Life. Changing.

Throughly researched and completely relatable, this book made me rethink the way I think about sleep and how I treat my body overall. We are very unforgiving to ourselves. If we are tired we feel lazy. If we are hungry we feel ashamed. We constantly are judging ourselves because we don’t look like some celebrity or social media influencers. Reading this, for the first time in a really long time, I thought “what if I be myself, and forgive myself?”

Now, I don’t know if that is exactly where Arianna wanted her readers to go but that’s where it took me. When I am tired, I forgive myself and take a nap or get some rest. When I am hungry, I eat and I enjoy a healthy variety of food. I know it seems really, really simple but just with adequate sleep and proper nutrition, I feel better and I was able to come off of my anxiety medication that I have been on for 13 years. Also, and this is a big newsflash, when you sleep better you have more energy throughout the day! Who knew?

You definitely have to read this book! I’m going to share some of my favorite passages from the book, as always, but these only scratch the surface of this entirely too large epidemic of exhaustion.

“It’s very much the way I experience sleep when I let go of my thoughts and my worries. Like dropping through a hole in everything that the world said was important…like discovering that nothing else mattered and all I needed was now…temporarily removed from the game…” -pg.25.

This passage gave me so much peace. Who doesn’t want that? Just to forget for a while, to not feel pressure, to escape. Sleep is the healthiest way to do that. Why has no one ever told me that before? Why aren’t more people saying this?

“Almost everything-all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure- these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important, remembering that you are going to die is the best way to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” -pg. 220

“Being a slave to our job and our status in the world makes it much harder to put our day behind us and surrender to sleep.”-pg. 221

So true. How many nights have you been in bed struggling to sleep just thinking about your job or the status you have to maintain? Just put it on pause, it’s not who you are, it’s just what you do.

“First, banish all tech devices from your room at least 30 minutes before you turn out the lights…if you’ve been in bed struggling to sleep for 20 minutes, try switching to meditating or reading a book.” -pg. 222

This is something I’m still struggling with. I’m absolutely addicted to tech. However, I did stop watching Netflix and started listening to audio books or my Calm app to fall asleep. Baby steps.

“…nap as soon as you feel your energy flagging, and don’t overthink it. In the course of our overstuffed days, there aren’t many opportunities to nap. Take them when you can get them.” -pg. 227

“We are not defined by our jobs and our titles, and we are vastly more than our resumes.” -pg. 283

If you remember nothing else from this blog post, please remember that.

On that note, I’m going to go take a nap!

If you’ve read it, let me know what you think.

Follow me @books_and_a_brunette on Instagram for constant updates!

Sleep well,

Jen

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