Does how you sleep reveal secrets about your personality?
Do sleep habits hold secrets about you? Can waking up early predict success in your career? Can hitting the hay after midnight foreshadow creativity, boundless energy – or maybe madness? More importantly, can adapting a different sleep pattern, have an impact on the rest of our lives?
Let’s look at a few celebrities and famous people and the way that they sleep. Whether or not you decide to change how you sleep, you might find a few tricks worth incorporating in your life..
If you’re a nighthawk, you crave the late night hours – it may be your best, most energetic and creative time of the day. You thrive by staying up late and in some cases, don’t sleep during night time at all.
According to a study by the University of Barcelona, night owls “tend to be more extravagant, temperamental, impulsive and novelty- seeking, and have a higher tendency to explore the unknown.”
- Keith Richards, one of the members of The Rolling Stones, is a night owl — which probably isn’t a big surprise. His ‘record’ is 9 days without sleep.
Speaking about the record-breaking sleepless period In a 1992 interview with The Independent, Richards said he “fell asleep standing up eventually. [He] was just putting another cassette back on the shelf, and was feeling great and turned round and fell asleep.”
- On a totally different side of the scale, President Barack Obama has said that he is also a night owl. He typically nods off at around 1 am and wakes up at 7 am. I’d hate to be a White House aide and have to decide when a crisis is important enough to wake the President during his short 6 hours of sleep.
Morning birds (like me) are people who love to get up early. Whether by nature or change in habit, we’re allegedly better at planning and organizing, more optimistic, have better focus, more family time and tend to sleep better than our night owl counterparts.
- However you feel about her, there’s not doubt Kim Kardashian is someone who has a busy schedule. She’s a model, actress, entrepreneur, and star of the reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
Kim is also a fairly new mom. Her first child with husband Kanye West turned two on June 15th of this year. Their daughter, North, adds a lot of work to an already full schedule. Kim says she wakes up at 6 am and the first thing she does is look at the baby monitor to check on North. Kim also says she usually goes to bed around 10 pm, when she is just ‘exhausted’ from a full day of work.
- Tim Cook, CEO of Apple likes to wake early too. He starts his day at 4:30 am and is at the gym by 5. He also prides himself on being the last in the office at the end of the day..
It takes a lot to run a company the size of Apple. By rising early, Tim gets the ball rolling ahead of everyone else and can take on the day with a “calm, quiet and deadly demeanor.” He’s said to never raise his voice, but has high expectations of the people who work with and for him.
One study from California studied the relationship between naps and workers for 25 years. They found 92.5% of workers increased productivity, creativity and problem-solving skills after a short afternoon nap.
If that’s not enough to encourage you to get some midday shut-eye, take a look at these famous people who attribute their success to enjoying an afternoon nap regularly.
- One of the world’s most famous scientists, Charles Darwin, was known for being an avid napper. He slept between 10 pm and 7am and then enjoyed a subsequent nap each day from 3 to 4 pm.
His son, Francis Darwin, noted that his father’s routine rarely changed even when there was company over. Charles also worked only until noon each day and at around 6:30 pm took another rest while he was being read to. If I had the chance to meet Mr. Darwin, I’m sure we would get along splendidly – he sounds like a man after my own heart.
- If you’re feeling really adventurous, you might try sleeping like Leonardo da Vinci. Da Vinci is said to have adopted the Uberman style of sleep. This polyphasic style of sleep is fairly extreme, and consists of a 20 minute nap every four hours (that’s it!).
Doing the math, that’s a total of 2 hours of sleep per day! No wonder he had time to be an inventor, artist, mathematician and writer. Imagine all that you could do with 22 hours awake each day.
Many of us think that when it comes to sleep, the more the better. If we could sleep 10 hours or more per night, we’d be so refreshed and well-rested, we’d be much better suited to take on the day.
But before you start getting too eager to sleep a few hours longer, a 2010 study showed that regularly sleeping ten or more hours per night can lead to obesity, heart disease, depression and diabetes.
These celebrities swear by the amount of sleep they get and say they couldn’t function well without it. Just as there is a small portion of the population who can be short sleepers, about 5% are long sleepers or people who need more than 8 or 10 hours of sleep each night.
- Mariah Carey known best for her incredible voice, is said to spend 15 hours a night sleeping. She surrounds herself in a room full of voice-preserving humidifiers while she gets her rest. Mariah doesn’t get up before 5 pm. She prefers to stay up all night and eats her main meal of the day at 2 am. Yikes!
- Heidi Klum tries to schedule her sleep around her children’s schedule and gets about 10 hours per night. Perhaps this is what keeps the former supermodel looking so young and fresh. A good night’s sleep really can keep you looking younger according to the Daily Mail. If nothing else, I’m sure the extra sleep helps Heidi with her job as producer, host and judge on Project Runway.
About 1-3% of the population are “short sleepers” and these people need less than the recommended minimum of 6 hours of sleep per night. They seem to function just fine without naps or caffeine. According to the sleep study cited by The Wall Street Journal, these people are “energetic, outgoing, optimistic and ambitious.”
For the rest of us, not getting enough sleep can have serious consequences in many areas of our lives. Everything from heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and the death of your sex drive. It can also make you gain weight and impair your judgement.
- Martha Stewart, was a model, a stockbroker and of course the queen of the home. She has created a very successful empire that includes a magazine, TV show and numerous books about cooking and life around the house.
How does she get it all done? Well Martha says, she needs only about 4 hours of sleep per night and says “sleep is not the most important thing.”
- Donald Trump, the billionaire CEO and Republican Presidential nominee, credits his success to sleeping just 3 hours per night. He said sleeping 3 or 4 hours allows him to stay a step ahead of his competition.
I think it also adds to his lack of judgement in some situations. Whether or not you like “the Donald”, there’s no denying his success as a New York Real Estate developer and businessman.
For most of us, the National Sleep Foundation, recommends between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. See the chart below for more detailed sleep recommendations depending on which stage of your life that you’re in.
(Image courtesy of The National Sleep Foundation)
How do you sleep? Are you a short sleeper like Martha Stewart, a napper like Charles Darwin or an Early Riser like Kim Kardashian? Maybe you have special things you do like Mariah Carey’s room full of humidifiers.
Tell us how you sleep in the comments below.
Greg Lehman is a freelance writer and one of the founding members of Spike Creative Solutions, a marketing agency based out of Waterloo, ON Canada. A self-described hippie in a business suit, outside of work Greg is either wandering through a forest, digging in the garden or taking a nap with his two dogs Casey & Dakota. Connect with Greg Lehman online.