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How Many Hours Successful People Sleep

Kanye West taking a nap

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Which celebrity sleep habits most resemble your own? Are you a Benjamin Franklin (7 hours) or a Joe Rogan (8 hours)? Do you sleep the same amount as prolific inventor Thomas Edison (5 hours)? Or does your shuteye more closely resemble Albert Einstein (10 hours)?

Figuring out how much sleep you need can be tricky. We live in a world where everyone brags about how little sleep they get. Our cultural programming tells us that if you want to be a high-achieving, high-earning, ambitious individual then the best thing you can do is sleep as little as possible so you can “get more done”.

On the flipside other sources are telling us that lack of sleep is one of the biggest indicators of poor performance in the workplace, depression, mood disorders, and other negative outcomes.

Since we’re getting mixed messages many people look to high-achieving celebrities, hoping that emulating their sleep habits will lead to similar success in our own lives. So without further ado, here are the self-proclaimed sleeping habits of some of the most successful celebs in the world.

How many hours of sleep famous people get each night

  • Bill Gates – 7 hours
  • Richard Branson – 5-6 hours
  • Tim Cook – 7 hours
  • Arianna Huffington – 7 hours
  • Jack Dorsey – 7 hours
  • Barack Obama – 6 hours
  • Benjamin Franklin – 7 hours
  • Winston Churchill – 5 hours
  • Marissa Mayer – 4-6 hours
  • Tim Armstrong – 6 hours
  • Thomas Edison – 5 hours
  • Jeff Bezos – 7 hours
  • Elon Musk – 6 hours
  • Neil Patel – 8 hours
  • Ellen Degeneres – 8 hours
  • Joe Rogan – 8 hours
  • Donald Trump – < 4 hours
  • Martha Stewart – 4 hours
  • Jay Leno – 5 hours
  • Madonna – 4 hours
  • Albert Einstein – 10 hours
  • Ludwig Von Beethoven – 8 hours

How can I use this information to improve my sleep schedule?

While there is a huge variance in the amount of hours that these famous people sleep – ranging from a low of less than 4 hours all the way up to 10 hours – there are a few commonalities. Most notably, every successful person in the list above wakes up early. Most of them are out of bed by 7 A.M. The main difference lies in what time they go to sleep. Some turn in well before 10 P.M. while others don’t conk out until the wee hours of the early morning.

It’s reasonable to assume that if you want to replicate the success that these famous people have had in their lives, it’s imperative that you wake up early. All of the research we did confirms this: successful people are early risers.

While you may be tempted to emulate their lack of sleep – and our current culture definitely encourages this – it’s important to realize that there are some people who are natural “short sleepers” who can get by on less than 8 hours per night. If you aren’t one of those lucky individuals, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice by depriving yourself of sleep. Your work performance will suffer and you certainly won’t be as successful as these individuals if you can’t work effectively. Get the sleep you need and wake up early if you want to replicate the success of these celebs.

How can I establish a better bedtime routine for myself?

If you want to start getting up early and getting after it like Jocko, then you’ll need to establish a good bedtime routine. If you want to get a good night of sleep, it’s important that you follow these tips:

  • Go sleep and wake up at the same time every day
  • Read a book before going to bed
  • Turn off your phone, laptop, TV, and other electronics
  • Keep your room dark, quiet, and cool (under 70 degrees)

If you want more ideas on how to optimize your sleeping environment, read our sleep hygiene guide.


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