Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post and wellness site Thrive Global, has been vocal about the importance of getting adequate rest. In fact, she tells CNBC Make It that she became successful once she prioritized this aspect of her health. But the media mogul also avoids three other bad habits to make sure she's productive and mindful throughout the day: going to bed late, using an alarm clock and checking her phone first thing in the morning.
"A big part of my routine is about what I don't do," Huffington says in the book "My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Everyday Inspired." "Once I'm awake, I take a minute to breathe deeply, be grateful and set my intention for the day."
Huffington wasn't always a stickler for avoiding these bad habits, but when she worked herself to the point of exhaustion in 2007 and fainted at her desk, she completely reversed her mindset. "I've made small changes over time," she writes in the book. "I'm sure before long I'll learn about something new I'll want to add to my routine."
For now, the media entrepreneur sets herself up for success by ensuring that she hits the sheets early. "Most nights I'm in bed by 11:00 p.m.," says Huffington. "And my goal, as we joke in my family, is to always be in bed to catch the midnight train."
Huffington's early bedtime also allows her to get eight hours of sleep, which is the recommended amount of sleep for most adults, according to the National Sleep Foundation. It also ensures that she wakes up naturally without an alarm clock.
"Just think about the definition of the word 'alarm,'" explains Huffington. "A sudden fear or distressing suspense caused by an awareness of danger."
In most cases, an alarm signifies that something is not right, she continues, yet many of us start the day by jolting out of bed as a clock rings. According to Huffington, this creates a flood of "stress hormones and adrenaline as our body readies itself for danger" and is a poor way to start the day.
On days that she absolutely has to use an alarm, Huffington sets it for the "last possible moment" and she doesn't hit the snooze button.
Once the businesswoman is awake, she refrains from checking her phone and reading emails right away. "I avoid the temptation by not keeping my electronic devices charging in my room," she says in the book. In fact, Huffington literally tucks her phone into bed every night in a charging station that's kept outside of her bedroom. In an interview with CNBC Make It, she says doing so helps her unplug and makes her much more productive upon waking up.
Although Huffington says that she's pretty committed to this routine, she admits that life intervenes and she sometimes gets off track. "When this happens I try not to judge myself or let it negatively influence my day," says the businesswomen.
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