Huffington, who is the founding force behind The Huffington Post and author of 14 books, understands how getting your rest enables you to tackle the next day’s challenges.
Khaled is quite the busy man himself, as he drops a summer anthem every year and has become a motivational whirlwind on Snapchat.
In Huffington’s new book, The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time, she speaks to how important sleep is. During what she coins America’s “sleep deprivation crisis,” Huffington is calling for a sleep revolution that encourages well-being above all else. She explains how our culture downplays the importance of rest and wears sleepiness like badges of honor.
The Urban Daily teamed up with Huffington and her friend and collaborator Khaled to find out their five major tips for getting a good night’s sleep.
“I want to rekindle our romance with sleep,” she told The New York Times. “It’s a central part of life and a gateway to our dreams.”
What songs do you listen to before you go to bed to help you fall asleep?
Arianna Huffington: Music is an incredible catalyst for sleep. There’s a reason the lullaby is its own genre! When I’m winding down for the night, I often find some soft background music – I particularly love classical – helps ease my transition to sleep.
Are there any meditations you like to practice before bed?
AH: When I’m really having trouble sleeping, or wake up with thoughts crowding my mind, I’ve found meditation to be a great remedy. Instead of stressing out about how I’m staying awake and fearing I’ll be tired the next day, I prop a few extra pillows under me and reframe what’s happening as a great opportunity to practice my meditation. If it’s in the middle of the night, I remind myself that that’s precisely when many avid meditation practitioners, like the Dalai Lama, wake up to get in two or three hours of meditation; this both takes the stress out of my wakefulness and adds an extra layer of gratitude to my practice. Just by reframing it as a problem to a blessing allows me to go deeper without a deadline or any distractions – and I find that I have some of my deepest meditation experiences and, inevitably, drift off to sleep at some point.
DK: I pray before I go to bed and I pray when I wake up.
What kind of books do you read to help you fall asleep?
AH: I love reading real, physical books – especially poetry, novels, and books that have nothing to do with work, like Rumi or a passage from Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.
DK: Arianna gave me full permission to fall asleep while reading her book, The Sleep Revolution!
After a stressful, long day, what’s the best way to refocus your energy so you can relax before bed and get a good night’s sleep?
AH: For me, it’s my pre-bedtime ritual, which I treat as sacrosanct. First, I turn off all my electronic devices and gently escort them out of my bedroom. Then, I take a hot bath with epsom salts and a candle flickering nearby – a bath that I prolong if I’m feeling anxious or worried about something. I don’t sleep in my workout clothes like I used to (think of the mixed message that sends to our brains) but have pajamas, nightdresses, even T-shirts dedicated to sleep. Sometimes I have a cup of chamomile or lavender tea if I want something warm and comforting before going to bed.
DK: After a long, stressful day, I like to surround myself with beautiful flowers, candles, positive energy, and people that I love. I also hop into my Jacuzzi to refocus my energy.
What’s the biggest mistake someone can make with regards to healthy sleep, and what’s the best way to solve it?
AH: The biggest mistake is falling prey to our collective delusion that burnout is the necessary price we must pay for accomplishment and success. Recent scientific findings make it clear that this couldn’t be less true. Not only is there no tradeoff between living a well-rounded life and high performance, performance is actually improved when our lives include time for renewal.
The best solution begins with understanding that sleep’s benefits are completely and incontrovertibly backed by science. We’re living in a golden age of sleep science – revealing all the ways in which sleep plays a vital role in our decision-making, emotional intelligence, cognitive function, and creativity. And when we change our minds, we can change our habits.
DK: The biggest mistake someone can make is to have worry on your mind and being stressed out. You have to get that energy out of your system. The best way to solve it is to keep negative people away from you.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty