The Sleep Routines of Successful People

12/23/2015 04:22 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

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Ever wonder how much sleep ultra-successful people get? Are they all super-human and able to operate on barely any sleep (unlike the rest of us)?

Well, it does appear that's the case for some -- for example, Donald Trump claims to sleep only three hours each night and PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi gets only four hours of nightly shut-eye. But the majority manage to get at least six hours, as you can see in the list below detailing the sleep habits of 10 highly-successful people:

  • Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX: 6 hours per night (1 a.m. - 7 a.m.)
  • Tim Cook, CEO of Apple: 7 hours per night (9:30 p.m. - 4:30 a.m.)
  • Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft: 7 hours per night (12 a.m. - 7 a.m.)
  • Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group: 5-6 hours per night (12 - 5/6 a.m.)
  • Jack Dorsey, Co-founder of Twitter: 7 hours per night (10:30 p.m. - 5:30 a.m.)
  • Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of AOL: 6 hours per night (11 p.m. - 5 a.m.)
  • Barack Obama, President of the United States: 6 hours per night (1 a.m. - 7 a.m.)
  • Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO of Amazon.com: 7 hours per night (10 p.m. - 5 a.m.)
  • Ellen DeGeneres, TV Host: 8 hours per night (11 p.m. - 7 a.m.)
  • Donald Trump, Presidential Candidate: 3 hours per night (1-4 a.m.)

You can read more about their sleep habits, as well as plenty of other successful people, here.

Although there is a range in the number of hours they sleep, there do seem to be some trends in their sleep habits. Most notably, everyone in the above list is a (relative) early riser, waking by 7 a.m. The variance really comes in their bedtimes, with some turning in before 10 p.m. while others don't hit the pillow until the early a.m. hours. It seems that those who manage to get more overall sleep tend to do so by getting to bed earlier.

Wondering how to establish a better bedtime routine for yourself?

A good first step is to establish and stick to a consistent sleep schedule, ideally going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day (including weekends). Also keep these tips in mind at night to set you up for a good night sleep:

  • Read a real book (not on an electronic device) to help wind down
  • Write down the three things you are most grateful for
  • Write down the three things you want to accomplish the next day
  • Turn off your cellphone (or put it on airplane mode) and other electronics
  • Keep your room dark, quiet, and cool (between 60-67 degrees)
  • Keep a notepad next to your bed to write down anything else on your mind

Here are over 30 more tips to maximize your sleep quality

Whether the amount you sleep is closer to Donald Trump or Ellen DeGeneres, adopting a healthy bedtime routine will help you get the most out of your sleep.

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