The Bizarre Sleep Habits Of 8 Highly Successful People

Most sleep experts and researchers agree that the average adult needs about six to eight hours of sleep a night, but according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control, of people who work more than 40 hours a week — which includes, let’s face it, most of us — 36% get fewer than six hours of shut eye each night. That means that many American workers are terribly sleep deprived. As if you needed some study to tell you that, right?

But then there are those rare people who manage to be incredibly successful and maintain ridiculous sleep habits. There are those who rise long before dawn to get their creative work done before grueling day jobs, those who have too much to do to get anywhere near the recommended amount of sleep and still blow the rest of us out of the water with their productivity and success, and those who just plain can’t sleep, but are probably better for it. Here are eight successful, fascinating people and their strange sleep habits.

1. Charlotte and Emily Bronte:

OK, so that’s two people, but both suffered from insomnia. In fact, it was so bad that they reportedly would walk in circles around the dining room table until they got sleepy. While insomnia is never a comfortable state of affairs, it certainly didn’t hurt either of their writing chops.

2. Michael Chabon:

The author of the Pulitzer Prize winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, among other notable works, has a surprising writing schedule: Five days a week, he sits down to write from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Other writers, such as Franz Kafka, have kept similar schedules.

3. Barack Obama:

The president goes to bed around 1 a.m. and is usually up by 7, though sometimes he gets less sleep than that. He has also revealed that he doesn’t have an alarm clock; instead, he has the White House secretary rouse him every morning.

4. Silvio Berlusconi:

The former Italian prime minister said he gets just two to four hours of sleep each night. Honestly, I don’t even want to think about what he’s doing at night when he’s not sleeping.

5. Martha Stewart:

The wildly successful businesswoman gets around four hours of sleep a night. After all, she has to get up early to collect fresh eggs from her own chickens.

6. Marissa Mayer:

The Yahoo! CEO needs only four to six hours of sleep a night. However, she rests up regularly on week-long vacations every four months.

7. Sylvia Plath:

Like many great writers, Plath was an early riser. She would write each morning from 5:30 a.m. until her children woke up.

8. Sir Isaac Newton:

The scientist managed his astounding accomplishments by sleeping just two hours a night or fewer, and working the other 22 hours of the day.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Habit 1: Be Proactive

  • Synopsis: Take initiative in life by realizing that your decisions (and how they align with life’s principles) are the primary determining factor for effectiveness in your life. Take responsibility for your choices and the subsequent consequences that follow.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

  • Synopsis: Self-discover and clarify your deeply important character values and life goals. Envision the ideal characteristics for each of your various roles and relationships in life.

Habit 3: Put First Things First

  • Synopsis: Plan, prioritize, and execute your week’s tasks based on importance rather than urgency. Evaluating if your efforts exemplify your desired character values, propel you towards goals, and enrich the roles and relationships that were elaborated in Habit 2.

Habit 4: Think Win-Win

  • Synopsis: Genuinely strive for mutually beneficial solutions or agreements in your relationships. Valuing and respecting people by understanding a “win” for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution than if only one person in the situation had gotten his way.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

  • Synopsis: Use empathetic listening to be genuinely influenced by a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. This creates an atmosphere of caring, respect, and positive problem solving.

Habit 6: Synergize

  • Synopsis: Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals no one person could have done alone. Get the best performance out of a group of people through encouraging meaningful contribution, and modeling inspirational and supportive leadership.

The Last habit relates to self-rejuvenation:

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw

  • Synopsis: Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle.

Habits of Successful People

1. Passion: Successful people have a genuine excitement about the things they need to accomplish and about life in general. They always have the end in mind when they set out to achieve goals. They visualize this end goal with such clarity and conviction that it is easy to always stay passionate and positive about their goals.

2. Good time management: All truly successful people have effective time management habits. They make every moment count and they do not accept distractions or interruptions. They are exceptional planners and always try to stay organized.

3. Focus: They are always focused on the big picture; on that big prize. Successful people have programmed themselves not to stress out over the small stuff. Their ultimate motivation is the happiness and satisfaction they will receive once they have reached their goal.

4. Don’t wait: Successful people consciously create their own success, while others often wait around hoping for success to find them. Successful people don’t wait around for that perfect opportunity, they get right to it and learn from their mistakes along the way.

5. Embrace every opportunity: Very often you find that successful people can right away see the potential opportunity in something. A successful person truly grabs every opportunity and runs with it. They are open and are very action- based individuals.

6. Constant learning: Successful people are life-long learners. They are constantly educating themselves and are concerned with self growth. Constantly learning and trying new things make successful people extremely adaptable and it is easy for them to embrace change or the unfamiliar.

7. No complaining: Successful people rarely complain. They always try to stay out of negative unproductive states. They don’t blame others, they always take full accountability for their actions. They face their challenges head on and figure out how they can learn from a particular experience.

8. Be proactive: This is one of the main habits of successful people. They don’t count on fate or luck to determine their destiny, they are proactive and not reactive. They are out there getting the job done, even when they don’t feel like it.

9. Keep on going: Successful people don’t understand what it means to quit. Yes they are fearful like everyone else but they don’t let their fear control them and inhibit them from achieving goals. They focus on what they need to do and always finish what they start.

10. Success breeds success: Successful people surround themselves with positive, proactive people. They understand that by aligning themselves with like minded individuals they are able to learn more and stay within positive circles which lead to more guaranteed success.

Think about following some of these common habits of successful people. Think about how your habits and how your mindset may be different. If you seriously and consciously adopt these habits you will soon find it easier for you to gain personal successes.