The Sleep Revolution

Alan McCarter

4.5 Stars

April 12, 2016

Arianna Huffington's The Sleep Revolution is an account of Huffington's journey as a "sleep amateur" to become "a sleep pro".  In it, she looks at our society's widespread sleep deprivation and argues that our various social ills -- from weight gain to Alzheimer's -- are partially due to that deprivation.

There's plenty of wisdom here about practical matters, including chapters on how to fall asleep (and how not to fall asleep).  But the book is also, more broadly, a survey of how we became a culture that treats sleep as optional and valorizes those who can do without, and a prescription for how we can course correct.  The Sleep Revolution probes history, and discovers that "our collective delusion that overwork and burnout are the price we must pay in order to succeed" derives from the first Industrial Revolution.

But Huffington is ultimately optimistic about a turn toward better sleep hygiene.  Technology, while it is one of the culprits for keeping us constantly wired (and awake), can also become a tool for valuing human creativity and fostering rest in order to make that creativity possible.

I expect that anyone who reads this book will find themselves convicted and convinced that our sleep habits can use a thorough critique -- a loving critique -- like The Sleep Revolution.

I received a free copy of this book as part of the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review here.