Dispelling the Myth: Does Less Sleep Really Mean Success?

It’s no secret that some of the most successful historical figures put their success down to surviving on minimal amounts of sleep. Britain’s longest serving Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, got by on as little as four hours sleep a night when in office. Inventor Nikola Tesla was even more extreme and in a biography, written by a personal friend, it is claimed that he would sleep for as little as two hours each night.

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It’s not just historical figures that get by on little sleep. Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer is known to work as many as 130 hours a week and recharges on a meagre four to six hours sleep. Every four months she’ll allow herself a week long holiday to allow her body to relax and reset.

Twitter Founder Jack Dorsey is also the CEO of Square. He dedicates between 8 and 10 hours to each business every day which leaves him between four and six hours free to sleep.

Barack Obama aims to get six hours sleep each night, heading to bed at around 1am and rising at 7am. However, he doesn’t always manage to catch all six hours because if an important crisis breaks out, his assistants will wake him instantly.

However, with researchers suggesting that everyone should be aiming for at least eight hours rest every night in order to function properly, not everyone is an advocate of limiting their rest.

Speaker of the famous phrase, “sleep is the best meditation”, the Dalai Lama says that he sleeps for at least eight, sometimes nine, hours every night. This allows him to feel completely rested, calm and relaxed in mind the following day.

Although he was known to survive merely on midday naps regularly working through the night at his office. Former chief executive of Microsoft, Bill Gates, realised that he couldn’t enjoy his life so changed his sleep pattern:

“I like to get seven hours of sleep a night because that’s what I need to stay sharp and creative and upbeat.”

TV host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres takes her well-being extremely seriously and makes sure she gets the recommended amount of sleep every night.

“I’m usually asleep by 11 pm and up around 7:30 am…It’s a lot!”

When you’re asleep your brain is restoring itself for the day ahead. It is also ten times more effective when repairing brain cells, learning new motor skills and reinforcing new memories. Getting enough sleep not only works wonders for the brain, but also the body too. Sleep helps your body fight stress, inflammation and also helps to maintain healthy body fat levels.

A large proportion of the population don’t make time to ensure they get enough sleep. However, sleep becomes much easier when you had a high quality mattress that makes you never want to get out of bed and, of course, a cup of tea.





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