How Much Sleep do Successful People Actually Get?

If you know me, you will know I am eternally fascinated by the lives of people who are successful, highly driven in the cutting edge of their fields.

One of the things that fascinates me is how much sleep we need to be at our best. There is no doubt that sleep is vital for each of us to perform at our very best. How much we need seems to differ from person to person.

I read a fascinating article about the sleep habits of 15 highly successful CEO’s. The vast variety of their sleep patterns were enlightening and comforting (link at the end of the article). I have posted 8 of the sleep habits of these highly successful people below. 


“While I don’t get as much sleep as I’d like, it’s still a priority for me and something I always have to work at,” says Park, who heads to bed around 1 a.m. and typically gets about six hours of sleep a night. One thing that helps Park sleep well is exercise. “I’ve found that getting exercise helps me get the best night of rest and feel most energetic, so I try to stick to a consistent schedule of at least 20-30 minutes of exercise each day,” he says.

Park adds that while research points to seven to eight hours of sleep, everyone is different. “At Fitbit, we’ve tracked over nine billion nights of sleep—and it has shown us that there is no set amount that works for everyone,” he says.


Hamm aims for eight hours of sleep but usually manages only seven, with a bedtime of 11 p.m. She uses naps to give her an extra boost in the afternoon. “I make sleep a priority—after all, running a business is not a sprint but a marathon,” she says. “Naps have become my secret weapon. I try to divide my day in two shifts, where I get a 30-minute nap around 5 p.m., before I work a couple of hours more in the evening.”

Hamm points out that the majority of people are lighter sleepers. “There might be a few lucky ones out there who don’t have to think much about their sleep, because it literally comes naturally to them,” she says. “Unfortunately, I am not one of them, which means I have to be more mindful about my sleep.” As a CEO of a startup that makes sleep aids, Hamm encourages her team to take naps, as well. “It’s important that we shift the conversation from ‘high performance equals long hours and little sleep’ to thinking around more flexible options to fit different sleep patterns and preferences—and a culture where its actually ‘cool’ to take a nap in the middle of the day,” she says.


Merrill shares her wake-up time with the likes of Tim Cook. During the week, she sleeps four to six hours a night and rises between the hours of 3 and 5 a.m. Merrill tries to make up for her lack of sleep at the end of the workweek. “On the weekends, I sleep close to nine hours a night, plus I nap Saturday and Sunday for about two hours both days,” she says.

Running a start-up makes it difficult to sleep more on a daily basis. “I would love to get more sleep, but start-up life isn’t conducive to a super restorative and balanced lifestyle,” she says. “Sleep is a huge priority for me, and that is why I make sure I get to bed early, decline almost all evening events, and ensure that I nap on the weekends.” Merrill also makes it clear that her sleep habits should not set the tone for the rest of her team. “I am vocal about wanting to get more life balance,” she says. “I tell my team that just because that is the time of day I can do emails does not in any way indicate they should be responding then.”


When it comes to her sleep schedule, Mulligan keeps things flexible. “I do the exact thing that the experts say not to do,” she says. “The time I go to sleep and wake up varies every day. I listen to my body, and when I’m tired, I sleep. But if not, I use the night to do big picture thinking for my life and business that can be hard to do during the constant daytime pinging of email, phone, and meetings.”

A key to waking up early, according to Mulligan, is being passionate about your work. “I can tell you that when you are excited about what you’re doing, popping out of bed is a whole lot easier,” she says. “It’s about finding what’s best for you and what makes you excited to get out of bed.”


As a parent to a 3-year-old and 9-month-old, Elbert’s sleep schedule can be unpredictable. “Sometimes I pleasantly get seven to eight hours of sleep,” he says. “Other times, if I’m working and the baby wakes up? Four hours.” He admits that on the whole, he doesn’t get enough sleep, albeit not for a lack of trying. “It’s a priority, but at this life stage, children supersede that priority,” he says. “I think bragging about lack of sleep is overrated. Sleep is great if you can get it!”


Smith usually only sleeps at 1 a.m. but makes a point of sleeping six hours a night. “I can operate with less sleep, but my effectiveness and mood suffer,” he says. “I’ve met people who live well on three hours of sleep, but that’s uncommon, and I believe everyone is different. People should start by understanding their bodies and what habits work best for them—then design a routine to support those habits.”


Krim has always needed a lot of sleep. “I’ve been that way since I was a baby,” he says. That’s why he aims for between seven and eight hours of sleep each night, despite having a newborn; he typically goes to sleep around 11 p.m. and wakes up no earlier than 6:30 a.m. “When I do, I’m at my best the next day,” Krim says. “I’m more productive and focused.”


Saeliu now sleeps at least seven hours a night—if not eight—but that wasn’t always the case. “I absolutely loved to burn the midnight oil, night after night,” she says. “But sleep deprivation gradually caught up, and I felt myself having less clarity throughout the day. I began taking longer than usual to finish a set amount of work.” She found her self-awareness, decision-making, and mood were all negatively affected.

“Not only does priding yourself on sleeping less set an unhealthy standard, it also creates a delusion of true productivity,” she says. “My feeling is that sleeping less, or believing that you can adapt—or have already adapted to less sleep—is not the best path toward being the best leader you can be.”

Two other highly successful people also share their stories.

Warren Buffet, states he never gets less than 8 hours of sleep a night. While Elon Musk the founder of Tesla says last year he was working 120 hour weeks. “There were times when I didn’t leave the factory for three or four days—days when I didn’t go outside,” he said. According to my calculations that is more than 17 hours seven days a week….. just saying.

Fascinating right??

What are your sleep patterns beloveds? How much sleep do you need to be at your best?

You are deeply loved and richly cherished,

Dr Christine Greenwood

Reign in life

P.S These testimonials came from the below article called.

Called 15 CEOs on how much sleep they actually get ( Fast Company )

Wink: I need A LOT less sleep than Greenie. Honestly sometimes it is hard to not get impatient if he is ‘tired’, and has had so much more sleep than me. Just saying…..

P.S What is your personal Growth Plan?

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One thought on “How Much Sleep do Successful People Actually Get?

  1. Deborah Cook says:

    I aim for 8 hours a night and sometimes get 7 because I wake up earlier than I wanted to. If sleep is not cumulative then it is best to aim for a good sleep every night rather than sleeping more at weekends

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