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Sleep Your Way To Better Health

posted by Alicia Caramenico

on January 5, 2017

We all need to get more sleep. Starting the year with a resolution to get 7-9 hours of sleep is good for you, your employer, and your colleagues.

Sleep deprivation was the motivator to create Thrive Global, which Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington hopes will shift our culture to one that prioritizes health and well-being. According to Huffington, well-being, productivity, and creativity all comes down to one essential thing: sleep.

Without sleep, days of productivity are lost due to high stress levels, she said at AHIP’s Consumer Experience and Digital Health Forum in December. The numbers add up: $300 billion a year lost to employee sick time and $500 billion dollars a year lost to employee disengagement. Meanwhile, 70 percent of employers name stress as major problem among their workforce.

In a world where we are surrounded by technology, the difficulty to disconnect affects your sleep. Heavy tech users have an increased risk of stress, sleep disorders, and depressive symptoms; and exposure to blue light emitted by smartphones, tablets, laptops at bedtime disrupts sleep.

The invasiveness of technology in our lives has reached a point where we need to set boundaries or we’ll pay a hefty price, in terms of health and happiness, according to Huffington. She cited the dangers of “second-hand exhaustion” impacting those around you – how an overstressed person can spread feelings of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion to others. So instead of wearing a lack of sleep as a badge of honor, we need to embrace good sleeping habits. “We need changes in way we work and live,” said Huffington.

The new year is always a good time to make such changes. Here’s how Huffington and Thrive are doing it:

Start Small

“It’s all about micro-steps,” says Huffington. These are small, easy changes to make in your life that will have monumental impact. Thinking more positive thoughts could be a micro-step to achieving greater calm or purpose.

Role Models

Huffington emphasized the need to valorize people who prioritize health and well-being. By sharing their stories, they can motivate and inspire others. For example, Jeff Bezos has written about how getting enough sleep helps him make better decisions as Amazon’s CEO.

Unplug

Your cellphone dies if you don’t charge it. People also need their recharging time. Set (and follow) rules for no phones at the dinner table, at meetings, and at your bedside to wake up refreshed and rejuvenated.