Why Arianna Huffington was TED Wrong

Interesting message I got today:

“I saw this on TED http://bit.ly/gs5Byd thought it might interest you @8pmWarrior would like to hear your comments on it” – @SocialCharlie

I definitely have some comments on it, but first, here’s the video Charlie mentioned:


If you don’t have 5 minutes to watch it, I will paraphrase it for you:

  1. When she was already successful, Arianna Huffington (the Huffington Post Arianna) fainted from exhaustion, fell down, and broke some bones in her face.
  2. She met with doctors, scientists, and others to discover that the key to a more productive, more inspired, more joyful life is…getting enough sleep (contrast this with our current Warrior of the Week:  Jordan Zimmerman’s position).
  3. She is starting a new feminist revolution by telling women to literally “sleep their way to the top” and sleep deprivation is  a “virility symbol” for men.
  4. Sleeping will save the world.


Arianna, you’ve done some amazing things in your life, and you were an 8pm Warrior.  For that, I used to have a lot of respect for you.

However, I respectfully think it is ludicrous to tell those 8pm Warriors at the TED event that sleeping is the key to a more inspired life and I’d like to see Jordan Zimmerman give a TED talk to share the other side.  I’m assuming that one of the reasons you were wildly successful is the same reason that you fainted from exhaustion.

You were giving it your all.

One of the reasons that 8pm Warriors work late (and often sleep less) is because we want to; because we are inspired.  We’re busy.

  • We’re busy writing, reading, or watching TED videos.
  • We’re busy planning.
  • We’re busy making our dreams come true.

I believe that a person can sleep when they die or sleep when they’re satisfied.  Arianna, it sounds like your dreams have already come true.  Time to let others chase theirs.

Have an inspired night!


Published by Aaron Biebert

I'm a director, film/video exec producer, leader & 8pm Warrior. I am passionately chasing my goals at all times. I'm listening. Let's talk!

9 comments on “Why Arianna Huffington was TED Wrong”

  1. I love the title of the post! Very clever.

    Well, I don’t think it’s as black and white as sleep or no sleep. If you only sleep 3 hours a day for the rest of your life, you’ll probably die pretty quickly (and thus not be very productive). But I don’t think that’s what you’re saying. There are times when you have to dig in your heals and get shit done. Agreed.

    But on the flipside, I don’t think she’s advocating that you *never* burn the midnight oil.

    I really don’t think you guys are disagreeing.

  2. I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this. Maybe I’m wrong…

    I know sleep is important, but I think of it like I think of putting gas in my car. I do it, but don’t like it.

    I like driving.

  3. @NaughtyGnosiophile, thanks for the compliment on the title. It was a last second addition. :)

    I’m definitely not saying that people shouldn’t sleep (or only sleep 3 hours a day). My post yesterday talked specifically about what I do when I can’t go any further. I sleep.

    I think she should have slept instead of fainting and hurting herself. That’s taking sleep deprivation too far.

    However, I’d rather focus on living and pushing limits, not sleeping.

    I agree that it MAY be possible that we’re not disagreeing. However, the way she delivers that speech leads me to believe she is very passionate about getting her 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.

    Otherwise, if sleeping will save the world, why wouldn’t she make sure she slept 8 hours every night?

    Just my thoughts. Thanks for yours.

  4. I love feeling well rested after a night’s rest. It’s the best part of my day. I can’t make a good decision if I’m sleep deprived. Getting an adequate amount of sleep on the average (6 to 8 hours a day for me) is the key. If I have to go a night with only 4 hours because I’m working on a project, I try to get a full 8 hours the next night to recover.

  5. Charlie, I’m happy to congratulate her on her success. I just think she needs to go to TED and tell people how she got there, not what she’s doing now that she’s “retired” from her 8pm Warrior ways.

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