Addicted to Sleep Deprivation? Here's How to Put This Bad Habit to Bed | See Girl Work

Addicted to Sleep Deprivation? Here’s How to Put This Bad Habit to Bed

woman yawning

After collapsing at work in 2007 due to utter exhaustion, Arianna Huffington called for an end to our sleep deprivation crisis. But are we listening?

It’s about time we have a real conversation about the nature of sleep, even while on the grind.

From pulling all-nighters in college, through to the “can’t stop won’t stop” hustling dreamers, to the always streaming technology of Netflix – not sleeping has become expected, accepted, and the new norm.

Each day throughout my senior year of college I was repeatedly told, “You can sleep when you’re dead. After you graduate, are you really going to wish you slept more?” Maybe not after graduation, but years later? Yes, I will definitely wish I slept more.

In 2014 Wale tweeted, “in our generation ‘not sleeping’ somehow means working? Just because ur up all the time don’t mean your applying yourself.”

The problem is, if we don’t sleep or get enough of it, there’s no way we will be able to fully apply ourselves. No matter how hard we try, our bodies without fail will stop us first — just ask Arianna Huffington who just released her latest book, The Sleep Revolution.

After hitting her head and collapsing at work in 2007 due to utter exhaustion, Huffington decided she needed to make a change for herself and the culture of work everywhere.

She has called for an end to our sleep deprivation crisis, where so many of us view sleep as a waste of time, or time spent not working.

Yet, as Penguin Random House mentions in their review, “In today’s fast-paced, always-connected, perpetually-harried and sleep-deprived world, our need for a good night’s sleep is more important — and elusive — than ever.”

The ultimate problem is that we equate lack of sleep with success. However without sleep it will take us even longer to reach our dreams.

Notice the long list of awfulness that come with sleep deprivation including a decrease in our level of patience, difficulty focusing for long periods of time, weight gain and more.

There is no added wealth gained from less sleep.

At most, only small tasks will get complete (most likely in poor quality), fun times may be had, FOMO may decrease for time being, but the negative impact will still last over time.

“We all have a lot more discretionary time than we think,” Huffington says. “You know, you don’t have to watch House of Cards. These things are optional.”

Getting more sleep has to be a choice priority — a place of focus. If you’re like me and get into the non-stop, creative, work flow (especially late at night), it can be challenging to cut yourself off. However, the sensation of feeling fully rested and complete the next day is the ultimate reward.

If you’re with the revolution, and you want to get more sleep, check out these tips below on how you can proactively aim to accomplish your new goal of seven hours (or more) sleep per night.

Ease Your Way In

Start with just 30 minutes. As with any new habit we want to pick up, it’s all about starting small and working our way up.

If the idea of committing to another hour of sleep each night is too overwhelming commit to 20 or 30 minutes first. Once you see how fabulous you’ll feel, you’ll want even more!

Create a Bedtime Ritual

Unfortunately technology has severely cramped our ability to fall asleep. Our separation anxiety from email, swiping, Hulu, and Instagram have taken away the peace that is supposed to surround our sleep.

To eliminate all the clutter carve out your own unique end of day routine. Whether that means putting away your phone, laptop, and tablet an hour before bed, slipping into special pajamas, or reading your favourite magazine, create a ritual and practice it.

Give Yourself Permission

Yes, I’m talking to you perfectionists out there, let it all go! Sometimes what keeps us from falling asleep is stress, anxiety, fear, and a general feeling of lack of control.

If we don’t give ourselves permission to relax, decompress, and settle, sleep will never come easily.

Naps are Very Much Okay

Booming companies like Google, The Huffington Post, and Zappos are huge supporters of naps.

In addition to raising our ability to focus and be productive, napping can also lower feelings of anxiety and depression too.

Whether at work or at home, never feel guilty for indulging in the perfect nap!


This piece was written by Eve Stern and originally appeared on Her Agenda.
Image via Luca Pierro/Stocksy


Get Free Email Updates!

We feature profiles and interviews with women who are creating their own lifestyles on their own terms. We also publish content on topics related to freelance living, entrepreneurship, and career strategies. Keep up-to-date by joining our community.

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.


Her Agenda

Her Agenda

Her Agenda is an award-winning digital media platform bridging the gap between ambition and achievement for millennial women. Named a top website for millennial women by our content attracts ambitious women and we give them the tools to become accomplished women. We curate, and host events, workshops, panels and conferences. We publish articles that feature actionable career advice in addition to exclusive interviews with powerful, successful women who offer honest advice from their career journey to our readers. For more visit,

  • Oh man, it would be TOUGH to go without sleep. My husband has done it since he’s in the military and it is not healthy at all. I only did it when I had newborns and it’s such an awful feeling. I hate how people think they need to keep working and go without sleep. Everyone needs rest!

  • Coral Ariel Seabrook

    LOVE this! I will definitely take away from this the idea to create a bed-time routine and nap! Great article!

  • Sleep is nature and it is a gift from God. We need it in the right way possible to stay healthy and focused. Even a power nap would boost our focus to do things. And sleep routine is a must. thanks for sharing this article.

  • Mamabops

    Since I had kids, I definitely wish I would’ve slept more when I had the chance! Sleep is much much more elusive now. I run on a LOT of caffeine, which I don’t like… but you gotta do what you gotta do, I guess.

  • Jhilmil Mommyinme

    Sleep has become so less to me in past 4 mnths due to excessive work & life pressure.. Thanks you reminded me to have that balance!

  • LC @ A Life of Authenticity

    I completely agree, sleep is so very important. I do not ascribe to the belief that you can sleep when you are dead. If you are sleepwalking you can not fully experience life, and if you are not fully experiencing life then why deprive yourself of sleep. Thanks for the article.

  • Mike Marie Barber

    I completely agree sleep is so important not just the quantity but the quality too.

  • Ania Ewelina

    Great post, I’ve suffered from insomnia for many years and am always sleep deprived. These are some good measures to take, hopefully I can sleep better. I do love naps though haha

  • Such a lovely article! My nights have been getting later and later and I hadn’t really considered it before now; I have to wake up several times in the night with my little boy aswell so I’m probably not getting what I need <3 I will set an alarm on my phone to start getting ready for bed, then I can ease in to it earlier 😀 xx

    elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara
    (lets follow each other on bloglovin or instagram)

  • I suffer from insomnia and often find I get less than 5 hours sleep but then I try and take naps where possible so I can be fully charged and be able to apply myself more

  • Vishal

    I loved your post and one who have this problem should thank Ariana for helping them cure this problem.

  • Robert Stukowski

    Nice post. Getting more sleep is always a problem. Even when I go to sleep I don’t always sleep. I will try your tips to solve my insomnia problem.

  • Olujorby Chemqueen

    Deprivation from sleep is not healthy to the body. We all need to sleep well to live healthy.

  • I only really started sleeping when I was pregnant with bronchitis and could not take medication. Lack of sleep for days due to chest pain and coughing. When I finally got healthy, I started sleeping well again and realise how important sleep is.


Keep up to date with new blog posts, interviews, online courses, events, interactive workshops and resources by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.