World-famous leaders and entrepreneurs inspire and impress, indeed. Sometimes their daily schedule is so busy that it seems like beyond human abilities to survive through it.
So, what’s their secret?
Well, it’s fairly easy to understand. No matter who is your role model — Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, or Barack Obama — they all value sleep and make it a priority.
So, let’s take a look at the sleep habits of highly successful world leaders in more detail and see if there’s anything you can borrow.
#1 They Are Early Risers
An early bird catches the worm, that’s what the proverb says.
If you take a look at the sleep schedule of many well-known CEOs and leaders, you’ll see that there are many early birds among them.
The current CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, admitted in many interviews that he wakes up at 4:30 a.m., which is a typical lark’s schedule. Another example is Jeff Bezos, who sleeps from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
So, what’s so good about waking up early?
In fact, early risers get several great benefits over those who love staying in bed longer:
- Sunlight exposure. Light has an impact on our circadian clock, a complex system that regulates all the processes in the body, including sleep and wake cycles. So, by getting more light exposure in the morning, successful people help their brain switch into the alert mode, which improves focus and performance.
- Best time for negotiations and important decisions. Morning meetings and negotiations usually have the most positive outcomes, as none of the participants are exhausted or cranky yet (assuming they’ve had good sleep too!).
- More alone time. Calm morning hours are the best time for scheduling the day, jogging with a dog, or journaling. Having this personal time may lower stress levels and result in a productivity boost as well.
Aside from that, getting those first rays of sun in the morning may give you an uplifting mood, making other people view you as a nicer and more inspiring person.
#2 They Sleep at Least 7 Hours Per Night
Now, you should understand that waking up early won’t work if you constantly lack sleep.
Besides, not meeting your sleep needs nightly may result in sleep deprivation, which has a lot of adverse effects on your health.
So, let’s first find out how much you should sleep to feel rested.
According to John Breese from Happysleepyhead, an average adult without any health issues needs 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
And if you take a look at the sleep schedule of highly successful leaders, you’ll see that most of them meet that need.
But there are also people like Winston Churchill or Thomas Edison, who both used to sleep for only 5 hours per night.
These people are the exception rather than the rule. Even though science has found a gene that explains the ability to sleep for 5 hours or less and still feel great, you should understand that this is a pretty rare genetic mutation. So, it’s better to focus on changing your sleep schedule instead.
#3 They Know How to Wind Down
A dense working schedule may leave you in the constant ‘ready for action’ state.
So, when the bedtime approaches, you might still be too hyped up to drift off peacefully.
To deal with this problem and teach yourself how to wind down, you can borrow some tips from the influential people of this world.
For example, Ariana Huffington, the founder of Huffington Post, mentioned in her interview with The Cut that she winds down by having a bath with Epsom salts and lavender oil.
Another self-made woman, Oprah Winfrey uses meditation to relax and calm down her thoughts.
Both of these might work very well as soothers for your restless mind, helping you manage stress, but you can make up your own ritual. For example, drinking herbal tea and reading.
The goal here is to find what helps you relax best, so do not hesitate to try different methods.
#4 They Use Gadgets Wisely
Phones and laptops are important for a business leader or entrepreneur, as they help manage all the meetings, keep important documents within the hand reach, stay connected, and so on.
Yet, gadgets might also steal your sleep.
Their screens emit blue light that has proven negative effects on melatonin production. Melatonin is our sleep hormone that, along with other chemicals, ensures faster drift-off and better sleep. By exposing yourself to blue light, you decrease melatonin levels in your body and potentially reduce the amount of ZZZs per night, which is no good for your productivity.
So, what can you do to avoid that?
Well, do as many entrepreneurs do:
Put all the gadgets out of sight at least 2 hours before bedtime.
This might seem difficult at the start, but you will thank yourself later when you see the improvements in your sleep and work performance.
#5 They Create and Maintain Sleep-Inducing Surroundings
Finally, to be able to sleep like a champion, you need to make sure that your bedroom is suitable for that. And here are some tips that will help you adjust your environment and make your bedroom more sleep-friendly:
- Set the right temperature. Studies show that our sleepiness may be caused by the melatonin-induced drop in body temperature. And you can actually facilitate a more rapid heat loss (and hence, drift off faster) by putting your thermostat within the 60-67F temperature range.
- Soundproof your windows. If your windows let the droughts in, they will let the outside noises too. So, inspect all window frames in your bedroom and consider soundproofing them if you find any issues.
- Use a white noise generator. To block the inside noises, you can use a white noise generator, or simply turn on a white noise soundtrack on Youtube. White noise combines the soundwaves of different frequencies that can overlap with other sounds and make them less annoying.
- Refresh the air. Stale air may contribute to less restorative sleep and morning headaches. Air out your bedroom regularly and install a humidifier that can clean the air from dust particles and make it more comfortable to breathe.
As you can see, these tips aren’t hard to do. But reevaluating your sleep habits is one of the first steps to better productivity and success, so be sure to put effort into this.