Our restless generation is missing out on the spiritual benefits of shuteye.
Goodnight kittens. Goodnight emails unwritten. Goodnight clocks. Goodnight inbox… Goodnight worrying about weight loss. Goodnight demanding boss. Goodnight test for which I need to cram. Goodnight Instagram.
So goes Goodnight Smartphone, a modern-day rewriting of the classic bedtime story Goodnight Moon. The invention of the light bulb has kept Americans awake at least one or two hours later, and now today’s glowing devices are interrupting the six or seven hours of shuteye adults average each night.
Last year, the Centers for Disease Control declared sleep deprivation a public health problem, with 30 percent of adults getting fewer than six hours of sleep a night.
You can see it in their eyes. The dark circles of a mother who hasn’t slept more than a few hours since baby was born, who squints and smiles through the fatigue that has become her new normal. The glassy eyes of a workaholic who isn’t sure if she should be embarrassed or proud of her latest all-nighter. The heavy lids of the friend whose depression or chronic pain won’t let her get a solid eight hours.
Arianna Huffington, who narrates the new Goodnight Smartphone book, has dedicated her post–Huffington Post life to getting the tired people of the world to go to sleep, rest, and take steps to prevent burnout.
The author of The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time and founder of the new site Thrive has been labeled a “sleep evangelist”—apt terminology given how much our zzzs impact our spiritual lives, particularly as women.
Even as Americans trade sleep for digital distractions and rest for caffeine, researchers have discovered more than ever about the significance of sleep.
Their findings …