Musk, Huffington spar about how much sleep he needs

By Lindsey Bever | Washington Post

A seemingly overworked, under-utilized Elon Musk rejected Arianna Huffington's recent suggestion that he is getting more sleep – and he did that in a tweet in the middle of the night.

Tesla's CEO told the New York Times last week that he has worked a lot – up to 120 hours a week lately – by saying, "There were times when I did not leave the factory for three or four days-days when I did not go outside. "

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When he has time to sleep, he told the Times, he often has to take Ambien, a powerful sedative. In a tweet last year he wrote: "A little red wine, vintage plate, some Ambien … and magic!"

It prompted Huffington, a former sleeping lawyer who co-founded the Huffington Post, to reach out to her and give her fellow entrepreneur some tips.

"People are not machines", said Musk member of the board in an open letter that was posted last week on her website Thrive Global. "For machines – whether it concerns the first or fourth industrial revolution – failure is a bug, for people downtime is a function, science is clear, and what it tells us is that there is no way to make good decisions. take and realize your world-changing ambitions while you are working in an empty way. "

Huffington tweeted the letter Friday and urged the director of Tesla to change his way of doing things.

His answer?

"Ford and Tesla are the only two American car companies that want to avoid bankruptcy," he wrote in a tweet to Huffington on Sunday. "I just came home from the factory, you think this is an option, it is not."

In her open letter to Musk, Huffington, who wrote a book last year titled The Sleep Revolution, the study quoted that suggests that lack of sleep can lead to cognitive impairment. According to the Mayo Clinic, adults need seven to nine hours a night.

"You've come into contact with incredible challenges and you've met them by becoming increasingly stricter and more determined about applying the latest science," Huffington wrote in the open letter to Musk. "But at the same time you are demonstrating an enormously outdated, anti-scientific and horribly inefficient way to use human energy.It is as if we are trying to launch our future in clean energy (or in space) with a coal-fired steam engine. "

Earlier this month, Musk apologized for calling the analysts' questions "surly" and "boring" – partly because of his lack of sleep.

"I want to apologize for being rude about the prior call," said Musk on August 1, according to Business Insider. "Honestly, I really do not think there's any excuse for bad manners, and I was a bit contrary to my own rule in that respect, there are reasons for not having slept 110 hours, 120 hours a week, yet there is still no excuse. "

Other successful business leaders have admitted that they too have worked long days.

As the Atlantic reported this month, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi is known for her 20-hour days.

Former president and CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, said when she started at Google, she sometimes worked 130 hours and at least one night a week.

"The actual experience was more:" Would you be able to work 130 hours in a week? "The answer is yes, if you are strategic about when you are asleep, when you shower and how often you go to the bathroom," Mayer told Bloomberg in 2016.

Even President Donald Trump said he only sleeps four to five hours a night.

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson said he also works hard, but he does rest.

"It is hopefully in bed and lights up at 11 pm at the latest", he wrote on his blog. "I normally need five to six hours of sleep to get the most out of my days."

As Lenny Bernstein and Lena H. Sun of the Washington Post reported earlier this year, although research has shown that some people can sleep a bit, many can not.

The Washington Post reported:

"Research has shown that there are rare individuals who function well after four to six hours of sleep," said Ying-Hui Fu, a professor of neurology and neuroscience at the University of California in San Francisco, who has been regulating sleep for 20 years. studied year.

"But for the vast majority of others long-term sleep deprivation is a serious threat to well-being, it weakens the immune system and is associated with higher levels of metabolic problems, including diabetes," she said. "Cognitive function and energy level decline and the risk of depression and dementia Increases, Fu said, because the brain and body do not get enough time to flush waste products and replenish resources.

"Sleep is one of the most important things for our survival," said Fu. "I'd say right after air and water … and before any food."

Medical experts agree that lack of sleep can be accompanied by psychological and physical health problems.

According to the Department of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, studies have shown that insufficient sleep can lead to weight gain and obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, as well as depression, anxiety and other psychological problems.

"In addition to the feeling of drowsiness and changes in brain activity that are associated with a night without sleep, other performance measurements are noticeably changed," says Harvard. "Concentration, working memory, mathematical ability and logical reasoning are all aspects of cognitive functions that are impaired by sleep deprivation, but not all of these functions depend on the same regions of the brain, nor are they affected to the same extent. The area of ​​the brain known as the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is responsible, for example, for many cognitive functions at a higher level and is particularly vulnerable to sleep deprivation.As a result, people who have lack of sleep will show deficits in many tasks that reasoning logically or require complex thoughts. "

Huffington tried to convince Musk that he might be even more successful with enough rest.

"Elon, the future of Tesla depends on whether you come with your masterpiece, it does not depend on how many hours you are awake," she wrote in her open letter. "Tesla – and the world (not to mention you and your beautiful children) – would be better off if you regularly have the time to refuel, recharge and reconnect with your exceptional reserves of creativity and your ability to innovate. "

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