We all complain that we do not have enough time in the day. We look at our busy lives and think if we only had one extra hour per day then we would accomplish a lot. We also look at folks around us who seem to be getting a lot done and marvel at how in the world can this people do all these things. We brush it away saying that these folks are inhuman or have some special gift.
If I were to ask a productivity expert or motivational coach to help me find an additional hour per day then the answer would be, “Sleep one hour less per day”. I am sure you would have heard this advice when you were in college. In your current stage of “life after college”, will this advice still be valid? Here is a list of folks who have got on by less hours of sleep.
- Jay Leno sleeps four hours per night
- Madonna sleeps four hours per night
- Bill Clinton sleeps 5 to 6 hours.
- Nikola Tesla – 2 hours per night
- Leonardo Da Vinci – 15 mins every 4 hrs for a total of 1.5 hrs
- Margaret Thatcher – four hours
- Martha Stewart – four hours
- Thomas Edison – 3 – 4 hours
Sleep is a touchy subject and is very personal. I am not recommending that sleeping less will work for everyone. Maybe you are already sleeping less than your body’s requirements. Maybe you are an insomniac who needs help to sleep. So, I am not trying to pass any judgment but trying to explain a phenomenon of how some folks find more time in their day.
Some of us have a mental model of how many hours we need to sleep. These mental models are formed by stuff we read about requiring a minimum of 8 hours of sleep or less sleep means you get older sooner or less sleep means you die early. All these are mental models that need to be tested before believing in them.
Please check out my earlier blog post on polyphasic sleep .
What is your mental model with regard to sleep?