TED — Technology, Entertainment, Design — is a nonprofit organization that brings innovative news to your desktop or mobile device. Their mission? They want to spread ideas on every topic from business to science to issues that impact people on a global level – anything you can think up, including sleep. Their platform of choice? Speech.
Most of the talks available for free on TED run anywhere from around four minutes to a half hour. TED talks are hosted by experts in the field, and provide knowledge, instruction, motivation and more.
Who’s Talking About Sleep?
Those talking about sleep include people who want to help you increase your daily performance, your quality of life and your overall health. Currently, there are four different experts on TED expounding on the importance of getting enough of the right kind of sleep.
- Russell Foster — Foster is a neuroscientist who uses his platform on TED to discuss the science of sleep, why we need it, how much we need and the impact of sleep deprivation on mental health. Foster’s presentation runs just a hair over 21 minutes.
- Arianna Huffington — You’ve probably heard the name. Arianna Huffington is the original co-founder of Huffington Post. A shrewd business woman, Huffington uses her four minutes and ten seconds on TED talking about the link between getting enough quality sleep and being successful in business. Huffington feels that a good night’s sleep on a consistent basis leads to better, easier decision making across all walks of life.
- Jessa Gamble — Author of the book The Siesta and the Midnight Sun: How Our Bodies Experience Time, Jessa Gamble is an expert on circadian rhythms and how they influence our lives. Gamble often speaks on the theory of reducing the amount of sleep our bodies need by improving the quality of that sleep.
- Jeff Iliff — Neuroscientist Jeff Iliff is an Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at the Oregon Health and Science University, and his TED talk centers around how the brain uses the sleep cycle to flush out and remove toxins. Too little sleep may equal a build up of toxins that can affect us in negative ways.
Why Is Sleep Such a Big Deal?
So, what’s the big deal about sleep? What is it that has motivated four very different speakers from four different fields to take to TED to talk about its importance?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, there are a number of very good reasons to keep talking about sleep:
- Too little sleep can leave you open to the onset of chronic illnesses such as Type 2 Diabetes.
- Sleep deprivation is a contributing factor in car accidents, hunting accidents, and reckless behavior.
- Not getting enough sleep at night can dull your daytime performance, making it more difficult to make important decisions, to think on your feet and to focus and concentrate.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who consistently get too little sleep, take a few minutes out of your busy day to stop by the TED website and catch up on the importance of getting enough Zs nightly. It will help improve your health, your performance and the overall quality of your life.