Author: Arianna Huffington
This book is dedicated to “…all those who are sick and tired of being sick and tired.” If that doesn’t accurately portray all mothers everywhere, I don’t know what does!
In this book, author Arianna Huffington shares her wake-up call about the importance of sleep when one day she wakes up in a pool of blood at her desk. She had passed out and broken her cheekbone. After seeing doctors, it was determined that the cause of the incident was her extreme fatigue from overworking herself. She knew then that she had to get her life in order and start prioritizing sleep.
The Sleep Revolution captures her study of the science and history of sleep, as well as her own personal experiences.
Moms and Sleep
My favorite quote from the book comes from Amy Poehler: “Sleep helps you win at life” (250). On the other hand, a lack of sleep is linked to obesity, depression, anxiety, strokes, diabetes, heart attacks, and the common cold. It even causes an increase in facial fine lines and wrinkles.
Huffington says, “The good news is that despite our distractions and time pressures, our glowing screens and vibrating phones—our hyperconnectivity, often from the moment we wake up until the instant we drift off—we now have the knowledge and the tools to create a golden age of sleep. We have the ability to safeguard and savor the realm of sleep—not just for the benefits it confers in terms of performance and decision making but for the way it forces us to disconnect from the world and to connect with our deeper selves” (92).
Children and Sleep
“Children are taught early on that sleep is something to avoid as long as possible…and that with sleep comes the end of play and fun. What a terrible message to send! We need to do a much better job of framing sleep in a positive way for our children, letting them know that sleep is a vital part of being able to play and have fun, and teaching them healthy sleep habits, including naps and transitions to bedtime, that will last a lifetime” (Huffington, 169).
A Few Sleep Tips
One of Huffington’s biggest sleep tips is to remove all technology out of your bedroom at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
Another tip from Jennifer Ailshire is: “I would stress three words: calm the mind. If we can’t slow our thoughts and disengage our minds from the daily stress and strain we experience, we have little chance of getting restful sleep. Strategies for doing this will vary from person to person, but yoga and meditation are good options” (211).
I loved this advice from Richard Davidson: “I usually do a short meditation before I go to sleep where I reflect on the day and express my gratitude for the opportunities I’ve been given to help others and make a difference. When I wake up, I also reflect on how I can best serve others in the various meetings and events I have scheduled that day” (214).
How this book made an impact in my life, especially as a mother:
I know that my sleep directly affects my abilities as a mother. It is difficult to function when I am sleep deprived. There are so many things that are completely out of my control when it comes to sleep. One thing I have learned from reading this book, though, is that there are many aspects of sleep that I do have control over.
To set myself up for successful sleep, I try to have a consistent bedtime each evening. I turn my phone off early, and I leave it charging in the kitchen at night. Sometimes I take a hot bath or shower to relax myself before bed. As I’m trying to fall asleep, I concentrate on slowing down my breathing and relaxing any tense muscles in my body.
As I’ve focused on what I can control about my sleep habits and routine, I’ve found that I have been able to sleep better, and I am much happier! I truly believe that “sleep helps you win at life!”
QUESTION: Can you identify at least one aspect of sleep that you have control over?
CHALLENGE: Try one of the suggestions mentioned in this review to set yourself up for successful sleep.
Mommy’s Quiet Time 101 – Additional ideas for specifically getting an hour of quiet every day.
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Edited by Aubrey Degn and Sarah Monson.