Peculiar Sleep Habits of the Rich & Famous that Defy Conventional Advice

How does sleep habits of successful people compare to your own? Some sleep habits of the rich and famous defy the popular advice to get seven to eight hours of shut eye.


Martha Stewart/Getty Images

Most people are aware of the importance of sleep. Improved health, concentration, productivity, and even one's own intangible happiness and success are some of the benefits that we can enjoy if we take care of sleep hygiene and respect the number of sufficient hours of sleep.

Like every human, celebrities go down the same road. They all have or had their own peculiarities, ocassional problems of falling asleep, and other everyday rituals

Did you know, for example, that Leonardo da Vinci strictly followed a polyphasic sleep routine during which he slept between 20 minutes and two hours per session, several times a day?

Another example is American horror author Stephen King who has to wash teeth and hands and point pillows in a specific direction before he could fall asleep.


Fascinating Sleep Rituals of Famous, Highly Successful People


Experts advise that we have to sleep seven to eight hours regularly to stay healthy, successful, productive, and have longevity. However, not everyone follows this advice.

Some of the most successful and renowned celebrities in history have had strange sleep habits. While some of the world's top CEOs adhere to strict habits and even consider them the secret of their success, for others sleep is not part of their list of priorities.

Here’re some peculiar sleep habits of famous and highly successful individuals you should know:


1. Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart, an entrepreneur, author, and American television presenter who formed an empire with her lifestyle and kitchen business, reportedly sleeps four hours per night and is already on her feet at 6:30 am.


2. Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington is a standard bearer of a strict sleeping regime, which she is said to follow religiously after suffering severe exhaustion and unconscious drowning in her own blood.

The author of fifteen books, co- founder of HuffPost, and CEO of Thrive Global, has said she avoids electronic devices at night, takes a hot bath with salts, and always reads before going to sleep.


3. Winston Churchill

Daytime naps were so important to Churchill that he had a bed in the House of Parliament. The British statesman and former UK Conservative Prime Minister believed that napping was the key to success in winning the Battle of Britain.


4. Thomas Edison

Edison considered sleeping a waste of time and tried to minimize it as much as possible. The acclaimed American inventor and businessman used a polyphasic sleep cycle, which is basically a pattern consisting of short naps multiple times in the day.


5. Leonardo da Vinci

Da Vinci, the Italian genius polymath of the Renaissance whose areas of interest included invention and painting, used a polyphasic cycle even more stringent than Edison's, called the Uberman cycle. It consists of taking a nap of 20 minutes every four hours.


6. Sigmund Freud

Freud, who is considered the founding father of psychoanalysis, only slept six hours a night due to his self-medication experimentation with large doses of cocaine. The world-famous Austrian psychotherapist and neurologist smoked continuously, which ultimately led to 33 operations to remove cancer.


7. Barack Obama

Former US president Obama is notorious for being a night owl, but he squeezed in pretty much the recommended 6 hours (1am — 7am) of shut-eye. His assistants had to decide which crises were important enough to wake him from his sleep while he occupied the Oval Office.


8. Voltaire

Voltaire only slept regularly four hours a night and - like Balzac - he was a big coffee fan. It is said that the French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher drank about 40 cups of coffee a day so he would spend less time in bed.


More Fascinating Sleeping Habits of Famous People– Infographic

If you're curious to learn more about the sleeping habits of successful people and compare it to your own sleeping habits, check out the insightful infographic below highlighting the unique sleep habits of the rich and famous in the world.

The infographic reveals fascinating sleeping habits of different groups of the rich and famous from celebrity writers and authors to politicians, business people, scientists, and inventors. Enjoy! 

Fascinating Sleeping Habits of Famous People - Infographic

Mira Rakicevic is a Sleep Expert at Before she started working as a sleep expert, she always envied people who were passionate about their jobs. Now she finally has an opportunity to do something she truly enjoy, and no, she can’t sleep at work! Plus, Mira works tightly with other sleep experts and doctors to provide you with valuable information and helpful advice about sleep.