Arianna Huffington, Nighttime Routines & The Importance of Sleep | #AskGaryVee Episode 213
Arianna Huffington bedtime ritual experiment
What I learned
No productivity hacks will be effective if I don't get seven to eight hours of sleep
Sleep is my magic formula. I felt so much better this week doing Huffington's morning and evening routines than I did doing Dorsey's morning routine, simply because I made sure I got enough sleep each night.
Apart from Dorsey's 5 a.m. start, Huffington has a similar morning routine to Dorsey — meditation, exercise, and a cup of coffee.
The only difference is that Huffington practices yoga every morning, and she doesn't have a set time for waking up. I was up at 5:30 a.m. most mornings and felt a lot more refreshed than during my experiment with Dorsey's morning routine.
Having a transition to bedtime helped a lot with my sleep quality
I was initially skeptical about the effectiveness of taking a hot bath before bed. The whole electronics curfew thing was tough also, since I like to catch up on news and keep up with life admin in the evenings. Not to mention that I want to read messages from family and friends who are on the other side of the world!
But adopting both rituals proved to do wonders to my sleep. When I wasn't doing this routine, on a good day, I would fall asleep within half an hour. Sometimes, if I was feeling stressed, it could take a full hour.
With Huffington's evening ritual, I averaged 10 to 15 minutes before I was in deep snooze. I slept like a baby that week! I never once jolted awake in the middle of the night.
However, the electronic curfew can be restrictive
One day I missed out on plans that my friends had made for that night because I didn't check social media. Also, Facebook is how I communicate with my family back in New Zealand, and with the time difference, the best time for me to talk to them is often just before my bedtime in New York.
Also, I really missed devouring longform articles in bed before I sleep.
I think I would try to adopt this curfew whenever possible, but not be so restrictive. I just have to learn to stop myself from going down on an Instagram rabbit hole, which I often did prior to this experiment.
Self-care doesn't happen automatically
It takes deliberate intention to get up early, exercise, and meditate. You have to choose to turn off your electronic devices, take baths, and spend time counting your blessings before you go to bed.
I justified this "self-care" in the name of work. If I were to do this personal experiment on my own, I would feel guilty about carving out time for myself to take a bath or meditate. I would also be less willing to talk about it to my peers out of fear that they would ridicule me, which is a pretty stupid reason.
In the age where working long hours is still seen as a badge of honor, I've realized how important it is to set boundaries for yourself and be confident in your choices to prioritize your health. No one knows your own body and what it needs better than you do.
I'm generally not productive at night
Some people are night owls, but I've come to realize that whenever I've tried to do any work at night, I'm only half as focused. I'm better off waking up earlier the next day.
Prioritizing sleep made it easier to tackle challenging tasks and maintain other healthy habits
I love how I feel after a morning workout, but my biggest struggle has always been getting out the door in the first place. I didn't face the same level of resistance from my brain the entire week I practiced Huffington's bedtime ritual.
I also noticed that I ate a lot healthier that week, and I wasn't easily swayed by the smell of greasy burgers or seeing people sip iced frappuccinos on a hot day. I didn't want to interrupt how good I felt, so saying no to a milkshake didn't feel like a difficult thing to do.
It seems like sleep really does have a flow-on effect, and now that I know what it's done to my productivity and wellbeing, I'm hoping I can feel less guilty about making it a priority.
Video: Arianna Huffington: "The Sleep Revolution" | Talks at Google
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