I am so excited to congratulate Arianna and the Thrive team on the launch today of Thrive Global. I’ve learned a lot from Arianna over the years, and a lot of what I’ve learned goes to the heart of what Thrive is, and I have no doubt that you’re going to help so many people around the world.
Arianna’s taught me a lot of stuff, most of which I’m not going to talk about on video. But one of the main things she’s taught me is how important sleep is.
Most of the time your friends say, “Hi, how are you?” Not Arianna. “Hi Sheryl. Are you getting enough sleep?”
My answer was, almost inevitably, no. I was busy, I had little kids, I had things to do, I wanted to make sure I exercised, I wanted to make sure I got things back to my teams who were waiting for my feedback in order to move forward. I wanted to make sure I could do things that were social at night, and sometimes those went late, even when I had early mornings.
But what Arianna convinced me of is that sleep was actually the way to do all of those things better. Some of this I learned when I became a mother.
When I became a mother, I realized how important sleep was to my children when they were babies, or they were little, and as they were growing up. If they missed a nap, if they didn’t get a good night’s sleep, everything was harder. And if they had a good night’s sleep, everything was easy. And I realized that even though I was an adult, I’m the same way! When I get a good night’s sleep, whatever the challenges are, I can keep it in check and handle it. When I don’t get a good night’s sleep, those same challenges feel really hard and I don’t do as well. I make mistakes, I get more upset, I don’t handle things as well as I do when I get a good night of sleep.
Now we have to acknowledge that not everyone can get the sleep they need. So many people out there, so many single mothers and others, work multiple jobs, and we don’t have the safety net we need for people to make sure that they can take care of their own health, and that we help take care of them. It’s incumbent upon all of us who run companies, and all of us, to make sure that people can make ends meet and have the ability to get a good night’s sleep.
But even for people whose sleep is in their control, half of Americans aren’t getting enough sleep, and that’s something that we can change. And if we change that, we will be more productive, we will be safer, as Arianna said in Thrive in the book, this goes to safety on the roads. We will be better colleagues, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, better workers for our economy, and better friends to each other.
So, as we all think about how we’re thriving, let’s all think about getting a good night’s sleep.
And remember what Arianna told me on a pillow she gave me, which sits proudly in my living room: Sleep your way to the top. And by that, she means sleep.
Congratulations Thrive team, I can’t wait to see what you do.
Originally published at medium.com