Can we learn from the sleeping habits of successful people – or should we ignore what they do and do what is best for ourselves? It is said that those who sleep enough are happy and successful – but what is enough? Donald Trump claims to sleep only 3-4 hours each day while Bill Gates sleeps at least 7 hours each night. Which of these is not successful? To some successful people sleep is a luxury, while to others it is a necessity. What is the truth – is sleep a luxury or a necessity?
In fact, sleep is extremely important to your mental and physical well being. Essential repair to your heart and blood vessels takes place while you are sleeping. It is believed that sleep helps fight cancer and keeps your immune system in top condition. Sleep also consolidates what you have learned during the day into your memory.
It has been proven that those get insufficient sleep are more prone to accidents, and sleep deprivation can lead to traffic accidents, medical errors and bad decisions. It can also cause mood swings, lack of concentration and irritability. Insufficient sleep can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation (arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat) and other health issues.
So how much sleep do successful people get? What are the sleeping habits of successful people – men or women? Here is how some successful people sleep – their sleeping habits and their views on sleep.
Sleeping Habits of Successful People
There appears to be no common trend regarding the sleeping habits of successful people. There is a wide variety of sleeping habits and hours of sleep among the rich, famous and successful. Here are sleeping habits of some of the people we know, often admire and sometimes criticize:
Donald Trump: American President
The new President of the USA claims that his success is partially due to the fact that he sleeps only 3-4 hours each night. He wonders how somebody sleeping up to 12 or 14 hours daily can ever compete with somebody who sleeps only 3 or 4 hours. He never seems to be exhausted, so perhaps he has some genetic reason for this working for him. That said, perhaps he may have become President much earlier had he got his allotment of 8 hours each night!
Thomas Edison: Inventor
Among many other things, Thomas Edison invented the incandescent tungsten filament light bulb, the phonograph (forerunner to the record player), an electronic voting device, and among many others, the magnetic iron ore separator that separated iron-rich ore from ore of low iron content. He also developed his own type of Portland cement – which was used to build the Yankee Stadium. Edison is said to have slept around 5 hours a day – no wonder!
Marissa Mayer: Yahoo CEO
Marissa Mayer is the CEO and President of Yahoo. She is claimed to have worked up to 130 hours/week when working with Google and sleeps just 4-6 hours each day with a week-long vacation every 4 months to recharge. So Marissa Mayer joins Donald Trump ad Thomas Edison as getting insufficient sleep each night. But – is that good quality sleep? It makes a difference.
Sir Winston Churchill: UK Prime Minister
Twice UK Prime Minister and the man who led Britain to victory in the Battle of Britain in the early 1940s slept only 5 hours each night. He was also awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953 and led Britain through World War 2. Not bad for just 5 hours a night, but perhaps that was all he had time for in his busy life.
Sergio Marchionne: Fiat CEO
Sergio Marchionne is the Chief Executive Officer of Fiat who turned the company around after also playing a part in Chrysler’s resurgence. He slept just four hours each night in order to maintain the punishing schedule of work needed.
Julie Smolyansky, LIfeway Foods CEO
Julie Smolyansky became head of her father’s Illinois based company, Lifeway Foods, in 2002 at the age of 27. At that time she was the youngest CEO of a publicly traded firm. In an interview with Fortune, she said that she achieved this on as little as 4 hours sleep each night. Along with her brother, she was instrumental in increase her company’s revenue from $12 million to $130 million by 2015.
Rand Fishkin: Founder of SparkToro
Rand Fishkin founded Moz, the online marketing tools and SEO company along with Gillian Muessig, sleep 8 hours a day. This just shows that you don’t have to sacrifice sleep to be successful.
Famous People Who Sleep Enough
Many famous people sleep much more than those above. The Dalai Lama, Jennifer Lopez, Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Jessica Alba and Warren Buffet all aim to get around 8 hours each night. They are not alone, so not all famous people must work long hours and sleep less. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal Jeff Bezos stated in connection with aiming for 8 hours each night: “I’m more alert and I think more clearly. I just feel so much better all day long if I’ve had eight hours.”
So who is right? Donald Trump and Sergio Marchionne – or Jennifer Lopez and the Dalai Lama? Experts insist that insufficient sleep can lead to mental issues and mood changes, and also an increased risk of health issues such as weight gain, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and diabetes.
There appears to be no trend relating to the sleeping habits of successful people. Some appear to sleep around 8 hours and others less – from 4 hours upwards. Many, like Richard Branson, may have slept less when working their way to the top. However, having achieved their success, some have been able to adapt and extend their sleeping hours while others seem not to have been able to get off the habit of sleeping only 4-5 hours.
Quality of Sleep and Mattress Design
One factor that is common to all of these people is that they are or were successful in their chosen paths. The evidence regarding sleep and the quality of that sleep is powerful, and it is unlikely that these people could have achieved what they did without high quality sleep. Think of yourself sleeping only between midnight and 5am every day – would you be working at your best?
It is not just hours of sleep that is important, but the quality of that sleep. Even if you can only sleep for 4-6 hours each night, you will get a better quality of sleep on a comfortable mattress with good support. Even just a few hours of good quality sleep can help you overcome many of these side effects that are associated with insufficient sleep. You are better with 5 hours sleep on a comfortable mattress than tossing and turning for 8 or 9 hours on a lumpy mattress, or one that is too hard or heats you up too much.
Since sleep is right up there with nutrition and exercise in terms of its role in health, make sure to give it the attention it deserves. If you can’t get as many hours as you need at night, it’s totally legit to take a nap, and many experts even recommend it. Here are some more healthy sleep tips from the National Sleep Foundation.
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