Arianna Huffington wants you to stop taking care of your smartphone better than you do of your own body.
"Empowering yourself and putting yourself in the center isn't being selfish, it's being wise," she told an audience of entrepreneurs and small-business owners on Saturday at Martha Stewart's American Made Awards Summit in New York City.
In 2007, two years after she founded the Huffington Post, the media mogul suffered from a broken cheekbone after collapsing from exhaustion and sleep deprivation. The accident led Huffington to realign her priorities and wage a war against a technology-obsessed culture.
"I bet everyone in this room knows exactly how much battery is left in their smartphones," she said. "And you're all secretly looking for an outlet to charge it later."
Huffington argues persuasively that getting more sleep is the most important thing entrepreneurs can do for their startup. "There's this illusion that burnout and sleep deprivation is the way to success. But, the fact is, three out of every four startups fail. There's a connection here," she explained.
To fix an addiction that kept her from overcoming tough challenges at work, Huffington decided to banish the glowing device from her nighttime and morning rituals. She encourages everyone else to do the same.
"Turn off all devices 30 minutes before you go to sleep, and gently escort them out of your bedroom," she said.
If they're within reach, it's easier to give into the temptation of checking your emails in the middle of the night. When you wake, make it a habit not to rush to your device.
Huffington allows herself one minute to think of something she is grateful for in her life. "This will change the energy of your day," she explained. "Whatever it is that you feel blessed about ... that is the quality and mood you should use to start your early hours.
The concept of Huffington's morning ritual suggests that what you want from yourself should always be more important than what the world wants from you.
"I made the most important mistakes at Huffington when I was tired. I just wanted to cross something off my list, and I ignored the red flags," she admitted. "When I'm sleep-deprived, I'm more emotional and thrown off by my challenges."
While it's arguable that Huffington's own creation of an intensely popular media channel may be partly to blame for our obsession with inter-connectivity in the digital world, she isn't alone in her campaign for the importance of sleep.
"Our world believes that we need to climb the ladder until we succeed. But we can also collapse," she said. "Entrepreneurs forget that it starts with each and every one of us."
After all, if we're able to realize the need for sustainable produce, or sustainable clothes, or sustainable travel, then the need for a sustainable body and mind should seem clear as day.