So many people have the goal of achieving their own idea of success. Whether that means making tons of money, effectively balancing work and home life, or contributing positively to the world, there’s one important thing we all need: good quality sleep. Without a good night of rest, the chances of becoming successful, happy, and well focused greatly decrease. Some of the world’s greatest minds and most distinguished innovators, dignitaries, and historical figures greatly value sleep – that may be the key to their success.
Ironically, it’s commonly thought that successful people such as Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk spend all their time thinking of new ideas and don’t waste much of it on sleeping. That couldn’t be further from the truth, and if they never got adequate rest, it’s quite doubtful they’d have ever become household names. The reason that sleep is important to achieving success is that the brain thrives on resting each night. With enough sleep, we’re able to focus, think more creatively, and stay sharp. On the other hand, a sleep deprived brain is slower to retain and learn new information, struggles to come up with solutions, and is more prone to being unstable. In addition to the mental, emotional, and cognitive effects of sleep deprivation on the brain, the body doesn’t fare so well without rest, either.
If you physically look at the world’s most successful people, one thing is common among most of them: they appear to be well. They look alert, ready to get down to business, and in decent shape. Sleep is also to thank for this, as a rested body is able to repair itself more easily, maintain a healthy level of hormones, and effectively regulate the biochemicals that affect weight retention and appetite. Just getting good rest every night can seriously boost your life, health, and level of success. Need more proof? Consider the sleep habits of these successful people.
This tech CEO – who reportedly worked 130 hours per week while she was at Google – is the definition of hard working. Though her schedule is hectic, Marissa Mayer values her rest so much that she literally schedules four to six hours of it into each day. To make sure her body and mind are well rested, Mayer schedules a vacation every quarter to help her refocus and get some downtime. As Yahoo’s chief executive, Mayer’s career depends on her being able to quickly come up with effective solutions, have excellent judgment, and stay focused. None of these things would be possible without her getting adequate sleep, as a tired brain simply doesn’t perform as well as a rested one.
This billionaire entrepreneur is known around the world as the founder of Virgin Group, a conglomerate of more than 400 companies. With so much to organize and tend to, Richard Branson is a very busy man. His days start early – between 5am and 6am – and he doesn’t hit the sack until midnight. This leaves five to six hours of rest for Branson, but he does all he can to make the most out of every second. Getting uninterrupted, quality rest each night has allowed Branson to keep going strong for so many years and remain at the top of the business world. Another factor that allows his sleep pattern to work so well is that he exercises most days of the week, which provides a boost to the body and the brain.
Being President of the United States is a job that’s super stressful. We all depend on Barack Obama to make decisions in the country’s best interest, and getting enough sleep is important to make that happen. The current POTUS sleeps about six hours each night, but his rest isn’t always uninterrupted. President Obama has to be awakened when something important happens, but his aides very carefully decide when events are crucial enough to warrant doing so.
Helena Morrissey isn’t just chief executive of Newton Investment Management, a firm that oversees more than $65 billion of assets; she’s also a busy mother of nine children. Yes, nine. There’s no telling whether raising her kids or being CEO requires more of her energy and attention, but one thing is for sure: Morrissey gets at least six hours of sleep each night and keeps a steady sleep pattern to balance it all. She tends to go climb into her comfortable bed at 11pm and wake at 5am. It’s amazing that she gets even six hours of rest with all that’s on her plate, but if a top CEO and mother of 9 can grab a good night’s sleep, that leaves few excuses for the rest of us.
So many people would feel lost without Amazon and its many products, entertainment, and tech gadgets. Jeff Bezos is the man behind the enterprise, and is arguably the most successful e-commerce entrepreneur in the world. While Bezos has quite an empire to run, he also manages to sleep seven hours each day. His sleep schedule is usually 10pm to 5am. Bezos is an early riser, but he has to be in order to get accomplish everything on his jam-packed schedule.
Bill Gates is financially and personally successful: he has a great family, thriving business ventures, and a fulfilling social life as a philanthropist. Gates is also dedicated to getting enough sleep, at least seven hours per night. Many people who aim to make it big in the tech world wish they could model their lives after Bill Gates in some way. The simplest thing you can do to model Gates is value rest like he does.
Establish Your Own Sleep Pattern
If you’re not already in your own pattern of rest that allows you to wake feeling refreshed and ready to tackle everything ahead of you, there are several things you can do to get on track. Try to go to sleep and wake up the same time each night and day to maintain your sleep routine — this goes for the weekends and holidays too, and is especially important if you have trouble getting adequate rest.
Those who find it difficult to wind down and feel too stimulated at the end of the day should try exercising a few hours before bedtime. Alternatively, do some light exercise right before trying to sleep, such as yoga. Exercising should help expend some of your energy, plus it will benefit your mind and body in the long term.
After looking at how several of the world’s top achievers sleep, it’s clear that it’s important to get at least five hours of rest each night, preferably six to eight. Getting adequate sleep is essential to reaching your personal and professional goals. What’s more, ensuring that you get quality, uninterrupted sleep is best and will lead to the brain and body having higher energy levels, greater alertness, and the ability to form the insight you need to achieve your own success.