Here’s Your Secret To Success: Go The F*ck To Sleep

Ryan Holiday
12 min readApr 13, 2022

Some people take pride in how little they sleep. It’s proof of their hard work, their dedication, their determination.


I’m prouder of the exact opposite.

Despite producing over a dozen books, writing my daily emails for Daily Stoic and Daily Dad, reading books to recommend to my Reading List Email each month, opening and operating The Painted Porch Book Shop, and spending lots of time with my wife and kids — I’ve never pulled an all-nighter. My writing pace is not fueled by stimulants. My productivity is not dependent on adrenaline. My work doesn’t interfere with my sleep. The only thing that has ever kept me up and busy in the middle of the night have been my young children.

In the military they speak of sleep discipline–meaning it’s something you have to be good at, you have to be conscious of, something you can’t let slip. We only have so much energy for our work, for our relationships, for ourselves. A smart person knows this and guards it carefully. A smart person knows that getting their 7–8 hours of sleep every night does not affect their output, it contributes crucially to their best work.

So in this article, I am going to give you the 13 strategies that have been the secret to my success. Some of them you may have come by before. Others you probably haven’t. But all of them work.

Beware Burnout

Arianna Huffington quietly grew The Huffington Post into a behemoth with some 200 million unique visitors a month and 17 international editions. Her stake in Huffington Post was worth an estimated $21 million. But for a time, Arianna’s wealth and power came at the expense of living a good life. After years of working upwards of 18-hour days seven days a week, the sleep tax collectors showed up. Arianna was in her home office when she collapsed, hit her head on her desk, broke a cheekbone, and woke up in a pool of her own blood. At the hospital, doctors ran several tests. Brain MRI. CAT scans. Heart sonograms. Her diagnosis? Burnout.

But unlike so many overworked people, however, Arianna was able to look in the mirror after this harrowing incident and do what too many are unable to do: she changed. She realized that life was about more than just…

Ryan Holiday

Bestselling author of ‘Conspiracy,’ ‘Ego is the Enemy’ & ‘The Obstacle Is The Way’