Sleep Habits of Highly Effective People


Have you ever wondered what percentage of US adults get less than enough sleep?

Can you guess?

10%? 20%? 30%?

Well, if you guessed 30%, you came close but didn’t quite get it right.

According to the Centre for Disease Control, 34.2% of Americans get less than the recommended amount of sleep.

This is probably because many young, ambitious people throw sleep down the hierarchy and feel grinding 24/7 is the way to beat the competition and make it to the top.

What they fail to realize is:

Sound sleep is essential for recharging the mind and for  performing optimally

An expert said: “Sleep is essential for different aspects of our lives, starting from health, emotional regulation and even relationship with others.” – Laura Bates, Certified Sleep Science Coach of Comfybeddy.

To buttress this point, it is observable that the most successful people across several facets of life prioritize sleep and get between 7-9 hours of sleep.

Fortunately, adequate sleep is not only accessible to the elite. So, in this post, we’ll reveal some of the sleep habits of successful people so you can employ them to optimize your sleep and improve your performance.

Sleep Habits to Keep You at Your Peak

Have a Sleep Routine, and Stick to It.

Successful people don’t scroll through Instagram until they fall asleep. On the flip side, they have a predetermined time to sleep and wake up. Teaching your body to fall asleep at a particular time can help organize your biological clock and make you fall asleep faster.

In fact, among the habits of successful people, getting enough sleep tops the list.

Your sleep routine should ideally include 7-9 hours of sleep. You should also be in bed before 11 pm. Yes, sometimes you may be tempted to stay up late. Texting friends on social media, scrolling through memes, or watching late-night TV shows may sound like good reasons to stay up late. Sometimes you may even have ‘solid’ reasons like work. However, it’s good to note that working late-night may be counterproductive. 

Another challenge may be rising at a predetermined time. 11 am to 6 am is  7 hours of sleep, but sometimes, your body wants more. One way to discipline yourself by setting the alarm and keeping it on the opposite side of your room. That way, you can’t turn off the alarm without leaving the comfort of your bed. 

Pro Tip: Rising between 6 and 7 am helps you start your day on the front foot. If you choose to sleep earlier, rising at 5 am is perfect. However, rising later than 7 am may make you feel groggy all day.

Have a Closing Ritual

Having a ritual that helps your mind relax in the knowledge that the day is over is ideal for your long-term sleeping habit. As Ralph Waldo Emerson puts it: “Finish each day before you begin the next, and interpose a solid wall of sleep between the two.”

You could:

Read a paperback book, as Bill Gates does. 

Practice meditation like Oprah Winfrey. 

Write plans for the next day.

Or, spend time with family like Hilary Clinton.

Whatever works for you, find a way to let your body and mind know that the day is over. 

Curate Your Sleeping Space

Your sleeping space should be used for just one purpose – sleep. Don’t lay on your bed, typing away on your laptop or watching TV. Instead, make your bedroom enticing for sleep.

Here are some tips you should try:

  • Keep your bed neatly dressed before bedtime
  • Keep the temperature lower than other parts of the house.
  • Block off the noise – if you stay in a noisy area, you may consider soundproofing your house. In cases where that’s not feasible, use comfortable earplugs. 
  • Turn off the light before bedtime. This triggers the release of melatonin, a relaxing hormone that helps you sleep better.

Keep the Gadgets Away

Throughout this article, I’ve made indirect references to this point but clearly stating it is worth the stress. While watching TV or surfing social media till you fall asleep may seem like a good idea, it negatively affects your sleep health. How?

The lights from screens may reduce melatonin levels and consequently increase the time required for you to fall asleep. If you are referring to sleeping starter patches, they could be a type of product designed to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality.

Before bedtime, turn off the TV and computer. Keep your mobile phone away from the bed or, like Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, you can simply turn it off.

What Highly Effective People DON’T Do Before Bedtime

Having talked about the sleep habits of highly effective people, we will now move to talk about some sleep No-Nos. 

You can’t catch people like Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg doing any of these before bedtime.

Here are three villains you should avoid right before going to bed:

These three affect your sleep in more ways than one, thereby amassing a sleep debt and leaving you sluggish all through the next day. 

So, while the saying, “different strokes for different folks,” holds, sleep is essential for everyone. Your ideal sleeping habit may be a little different from Bill Gates’. Still, the importance of quality night sleep cannot be overemphasized. Prioritize your sleep and watch your productivity shoot through the roof. 

Any thoughts or key takeaways? Feel free to share in the comment section.