Bizarre Sleeping Habits of Some Historical Figures (Plus Infographic)

Good sleep is a seriously valuable commodity and it is something which far too many of us go on without. Although it is recommended that adults get around eight hours per night, some of us survive on six or get by on as little as four.

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In the not-too-distant past, some of the world’s most recognizable faces got by on even less. For some of history’s best artists, scientists and politicians, sleep was not high on their list of priorities or was used in ingenious ways to boost their creativity. This post contains many curious stories about the sleeping habits of some historical figures, as prepared by CelebJury.

Here is a brief insight into the sleeping patterns of some famous historical figures.

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison, like some of the other figures on our list, felt strongly that sleep was a waste of time. Edison slept for three hours per night and he felt this provided him with the right amount of energy he needed to dedicate towards his inventions.

Edison would often take power naps, though, and would occasionally work for over 72 hours (that’s 3 days!) non-stop. This odd and arguably very dangerous sleeping schedule clearly worked, though, as he invented the light bulb and produced over 1,000 patents during the course of his life.

Leonardo Da Vinci

The well known and celebrated Italian painter, inventor and sculptor – Leonardo Da Vinci – methodically followed a polyphasic sleep routine, which saw him sleep between 20 minutes and 2 hours per session, multiple times per day.

This rather unconventional sleep schedule definitely gave him much more time to dedicate towards his works throughout the day, but it did make it harder for him to focus on long term projects which required a higher level of concentration, something not possible operating with sleep deprivation.

Nikola Tesla

The historic Serbian-American inventor unfortunately suffered from severe nightmares as a child, which perhaps influenced his odd sleeping habit as an adult.

Tesla followed what is known as the ‘Uberman’ sleeping cycle where he never slept for more than two hours per day. It is rumoured that Tesla – like Da Vinci – once worked for almost 84 hours without any sleep whatsoever and would often go days without it.

Winston Churchill

The British statesman, military officer and war time Prime Minister Winston Churchill was what is known as a ‘biphasic sleeper’ and would take a two hour nap each day at 5pm, after drinking a whisky and soda.

It was very common for Churchill to work throughout the night and into the next day. Because of his very irregular sleeping pattern, it is rumoured that he would often hold War Cabinet meetings from his bathtub.

Lyndon B. Johnson

The former President of the United States and successor of John F. Kennedy was known to split his day into two parts which enabled him to get more work done.

On a typical day, he would rise at 6am to 7am and worked until 2pm, before exercising and taking a very quick 30 minutes nap, after which he would wake up and work until the early hours of the morning.

Want to find out more interesting sleeping habits of some of history’s most famous figures? Check out the infographic below.

Read also: 6 Famous People Who Suffer From Insomnia

1 thought on “Bizarre Sleeping Habits of Some Historical Figures (Plus Infographic)”

  1. Ah Edison, the man who lied and cheated to many inventors. I don’t care for Edison because of what he did to Nikola Tesla. I think there was dirty work involved. I wouldn’t doubt it with Edison’s known behavior with others.

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