Arianna Huffington is no stranger to sleep deprivation. The 66-year-old media mogul, who’s now on a mission to make sure you get enough sleep, had her own personal wake-up call in 2007, when she collapsed from exhaustion. Outwardly, she was the picture of success but while going from MRI to CAT scan to echocardiogram, she says she began to wonder, “Is this really what success feels like?”
From this journey, Thrive was born. In her 2014 book, "Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder," she challenged the traditional measurements of success and investigated the “epidemic of burnout” and negative impact of stress. One of the most pertinent points she discusses is the importance of sleep as a gateway to improving well-being.
She further investigated that idea in her latest book, "The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time," in which she proclaims, “We are in the midst of a sleep deprivation crisis … and this has profound consequences -- on our health, our job performance, our relationships and our happiness.”
Huffington’s quest for a better quality of life has culminated in her latest venture, Thrive Global, which launched on Nov. 30, 2016.
“The reason why I became such an evangelist of this new way of living, that we call 'thriving,' is because I now know that we can actually get to that place where we are achieving and creating and getting things done without burning out,” Huffington told ABC’s Rebecca Jarvis in an interview for Jarvis’s new podcast. “In fact we can get there much faster.”
With Thrive Global, Huffington is hoping to change the way we work and the way we live by offering “science-based solutions” to combat stress and burnout in order to enhance well-being and productivity.
“I want to and stop using the term 'work-life balance' because it is not based on science,” Huffington said. “It's not like we have to balance work and life. The truth is very different that when we prioritize our life …our work gets better.”
Thrive Global is also offering a variety of apps to help “set boundaries” with technology. Two of Huffington’s favorites are called “Thrive Away” and “Silo.”
Going on vacation and don’t want a clogged inbox when you return? Thrive Away might just be the app for you.
“This app that we've created makes it possible for you to send an e-mail when you are on vacation, which says … if this is urgent, please contact so and so, if it is not, email after my return date [because] this email will be deleted,” Huffington explained.
Want to disconnect but not entirely? Huffington suggests the app Silo.
“Another app is called Silo and it turns your smartphone into a dumb phone for a specified period of time.”
As our cultural attitude toward sleep and work ethic continues to evolve, so does Huffington, who never dreamed that she would be launching a new company at this point in her career.
She told Jarvis, “I thought the Huffington Post was going to be my last chapter but then 'Thrive' and 'The Sleep Revolution' ... became more and more important to me and there's so much we can do here to change the way we work and live. I'm so excited to have just embarked on this journey.”
Arianna Huffington’s full interview with Rebecca Jarvis will be released in January 2017 on Jarvis’s new ABC News podcast.