Arianna Huffington: Why leaders must dispel their 'sleep delusion'

In addition to her role at the helm of The Huffington Post, media magnate Arianna Huffington is also a sleep champion, as evidenced by her recently released book, The Sleep Revolution.

Ms. Huffington, president and editor-in-chief at The Huffington Post Media Group, is passionate about sleep — she gets at least eight hours per night — and she aims to convey the importance of sleep to others. In particular, busy executives often let sleep fall to the wayside in order to work longer hours. And society in general doesn't value sleep enough. According to Ms. Huffington, this element of the American ethos could date back to Thomas Edison, who she said is "the one person who most embodies our sleep delusion," according to Entrepreneur

"He was convinced that sleep was unnecessary," Ms. Huffington told Entrepreneur. "He once said, 'Nothing in this world is more dangerous to the efficiency of humanity than too much sleep.'"

We know now this is untrue — our bodies require sleep to maintain both cognitive and physical health.

In addition to advocating for making changes to school schedules to enable children to get more sleep, Ms. Huffington says the business world must also make changes to allow employees to get adequate rest. The change will come from shifting values, and this should come from the top down, she said.

"There is a founder myth that if you are starting a company you can't afford to get enough sleep," said Ms. Huffington, according to the report. "But in reality three-quarters of startups fail, and perhaps if these founders were getting the sleep they need they'd have a higher likelihood of succeeding."


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