A book about sleep deprivation from an author well-versed on the subject.
Co-founder and president of the influential, eponymous news blog, Huffington (Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder, 2014, etc.) ranks 52nd on Forbes' list of the most powerful women in the world. She describes her own experience in 2007, when she suffered a burnout and collapsed at her desk. Regaining consciousness, she awoke with an injured cheekbone and her head in a pool of blood. At that time, she slept, at most, four hours each night. Huffington’s situation as a celebrity and mother of two daughters was not dissimilar to that of other successful people today. She estimates that nearly half of American adults are sleep-deprived, and the situation is worse for college students. Our values have become so skewed that all-nighters have become a mark of success. For those looking to get ahead in their careers and others who need to hold two jobs to make ends meet, going without sleep has become the norm. As the author documents, this abuse of our bodies is devastating not only to our health and longevity; job performance and relationships also suffer. Indeed, it is not unusual for drivers to nod off at the wheel. Huffington also looks at the flip side of habitual insomnia. She relates instances where reliance on sleep medications, such as Ambien, has induced potentially dangerous behavior—e.g. sleepwalking, and even driving, in a dazed state. Her takeaway message is that we should prioritize sleeping seven to eight hours every day. With little new insight to add on this well-worked theme, however, the author relies on inspirational nostrums and a host of tired clichés—e.g., “We are not defined by our jobs and our titles…sleep gives us a chance to refocus on the essence of who we are.” Readers looking for effective advice for sleep should turn to a professional.
A disappointing addition to the celebrity self-help shelf.