The Sleep Routines of Successful People

Andrew Merle
Oct 5, 2017 · 3 min read

Ever wonder how much sleep ultra-successful people get? Are they all super-human and able to operate on barely any sleep (unlike the rest of us)?

Well, we know that Donald Trump claims to sleep only 3 hours each night and PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi gets only 4 hours of nightly shut-eye. But the majority manage to get at least 6 hours, as you can see in the list below detailing the sleep habits of 10 highly successful people:

  • Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX: 6 hours (1am — 7am)
  • Tim Cook, CEO of Apple: 7 hours (9:30pm — 4:30am)
  • Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft: 7 hours (12am — 7am)
  • Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group: 5–6 hours (12–5/6am)
  • Jack Dorsey, Co-founder of Twitter: 7 hours (10:30pm — 5:30am)
  • Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of AOL: 6 hours (11pm — 5am)
  • Barack Obama, Former President of the U.S.: 6 hours (1am — 7am)
  • Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO of 7 hours (10pm — 5am)
  • Ellen DeGeneres, TV Host: 8 hours (11pm — 7am)
  • Donald Trump, President of the United States: 3 hours (1–4am)

You can read more about their sleep habits, as well as plenty of other successful people, in this excellent infographic from Home Arena (a home store in the UK).

Although there is a range in the number of hours they sleep, there do seem to be some trends in their sleep habits. Most notably, everyone in the above list is a (relative) early riser, waking by 7am. The variance really comes in their bedtimes, with some turning in before 10pm while others don’t hit the pillow until the early am hours. It seems that those who manage to get more overall sleep tend to do so by getting to bed earlier.

Wondering how to establish a better bedtime routine for yourself?

A good first step is to establish and stick to a consistent sleep schedule, ideally going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day (including weekends). Also keep these tips in mind at night to set you up for a good night sleep:

  • Read a real book (not on an electronic device) to help wind down
  • Write down the 3 things you are most grateful for
  • Write down the 3 things you want to accomplish the next day
  • Turn off your cellphone (or put it on airplane mode) and other electronics
  • Keep your room dark, quiet, and cool (between 60–67 degrees)
  • Keep a notepad next to your bed to write down anything else on your mind

Here are over 30 more tips to maximize your sleep quality.

Whether the amount you sleep is closer to Donald Trump or Ellen DeGeneres, adopting a healthy bedtime routine will help you get the most out of your sleep.

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