If you didn't know it already, sleep is right up there with diet and exercise in promoting overall health and wellbeing.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "...if not getting enough sleep is a regular part of your routine, you may be at an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, poor mental health, and even early death."
CDC Recommended Guidelines for Sleep
The CDC includes recommended guidelines for how much sleep people should get for better health depending on what age group they fall in.
For instance, the suggested amount of sleep for school aged children – 6 to 12 years old – is nine to 12 hours per night.
From the age of 18 to 60, seven or more hours of solid, uninterrupted sleep is ideal.
Let's be honest though, life has a way of complicating perfect sleep habits. Perhaps you're the parents of a newborn or, maybe, work has placed an important and time sensitive project in your lap that requires longer hours.
Whatever the case, each person's habits will vary based on their specific lifestyle and responsibilities. The important thing to remember is to try to maintain as regular a sleep schedule as possible and, if you can pull it off, short, midday naps are perfect for filling the gaps.
How Much Do Successful People Sleep?
Here are some samples of the sleep patterns of 21 highly successful people, reported on by Alice G. Walton, a health, medicine and science writer:
- Benjamin Franklin, a founding father of the United States, prolific writer and so much more regularly slept 7 hours a night, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
- Ellen DeGeneres, one of our modern humorists sleeps from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., getting eight hours of sleep so she's prepared for a busy day of entertainment work
- Jeff Bezos, owner of The Washington Post, founder and CEO of Amazon takes a page out of the Ben Franklin school of thought, getting seven hours of sleep between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
- Thomas Edison, father of the modern light bulb, which, ironically, might be keeping you up too late, only got about five hours of sleep a night, from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.
- Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Atlantic Airline, Virgin Records, and hundreds of other companies under the Virgin Group label, is a philanthropist and adventurer who routinely gets only five to six hours of sleep, from 12 midnight to 5 or 6 a.m. – not much, but he’s a busy guy.
- Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla Motors and CEO of Space X, clocks in at about 6 hours of sleep each night, from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m.
- Indra Nooyi, a Yale graduate who at the age 61 is the CEO of PepsiCo, gets just five hours of sleep each night, from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Sleep Patterns Infographic
The following infographic by Home Arena shows sleep times for 21 successful people, including the ones mentioned above.
Whether or not you're a former leader of the free world, a talk show host or a world renowned inventor, finding a habitual sweet spot of sleep will increase your productivity, improve your overall mood and reduce the chances of any number of health related issues that come from poor sleeping habits.