Nikola Tesla: “I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success. Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything”

11 Bizarre Sleeping Habits Of Highly Successful People

VIVIAN GIANG NOV. 19, 2013, 11:24 AM 219,099 6

One of a professional’s most important daily rituals is how and when they sleep, since this affects how well they perform on the job. For people at the top, who often face intense pressure and packed schedules, sometimes these sleeping habits can be quite strange. Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, for instance, sleeps in a high altitude chamber which forces his body to work even while resting. Meanwhile, famed writer Charles Dickens always slept facing north, and inventor Nikola Tesla never slept for more than two hours a night. Here’s a look at the most bizarre sleeping habits of highly successful people.

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Inventor Nikola Tesla never slept for more than two hours a day.Tesla got more out of the day with his limited sleep schedule. Like Da Vinci, Telsa also followed the Uberman sleep cycle and claimed to never sleep for more than two hours a day and reportedly once worked for 84 hours in a lab without any rest or sleep. “I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success … Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything,” he said.Tom Cruise sleeps in a sound-proof ‘snoratorium.’

Cruise’s snores are apparently so bad, he sleeps in a sound-proof “snoratorium.”

“Whoever uses the snoring room cannot be heard outside the locked door,” an alleged visitor to the actor’s house told the Daily Mail. “It’s very small, comfortable and dark, maybe a former nursery.”


Winston Churchill took a two-hour nap every day.

Every day at 5 p.m., the prime minister would drink a weak whisky and soda before taking a nap for nearly two hours. Churchill said this “siesta,” or short nap, allowed him to get one and a half day’s worth of work out of every 24 hours.

Churchill was known to be a night owl and would often work through the night. Due to his irregular sleep schedule, he was said to hold War Cabinet meetings in his bath.


Mariah Carey surrounds her bed with 20 humidifiers and needs 15 hours of shut-eye per night.

“I’ve got to sleep 15 hours to sing the way I want to,” Carey told Interview magazine in 2007. She also admitted to sleeping with 20 humidifiers around her bed.

“Basically, it’s like sleeping in a steam room,” she said.


All of Stephen King’s pillows are pointed in a certain direction.

According to Lisa Rogak’s book “Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King,” the science fiction writer explains his odd night-time ritual as:

“I brush my teeth, I wash my hands. Why would anybody wash their hands before they go to bed? I don’t know. And the pillows are supposed to be pointed a certain way. The open side of the pillowcase is supposed to be pointed in toward the other side of the bed. I don’t know why.”


Leonardo da Vinci’s sleep schedule included 20-minute naps every four hours.

Da Vinci followed an extreme form of a polyphasic sleep schedule called the Uberman sleep cycle, which consists of 20-minute naps every four hours.

This unconventional sleep cycle may have given the artist/inventor/scientist more awake time during his days, but could have also made it difficult for him to work on long-term projects.

Eminem puts tin foil on his windows to keep out the light.

Most people put dark shades on their windows to keep their rooms dark, but rapper Eminem takes it to another level by wrapping tin foil around his windows to get better quality sleep.

He also likes “white noise playing on the speakers and telly” and finds that this routine helps him sleep better when traveling to different time zones.

Novelist Emily Brontë walked around in circles until she fell asleep.

The 19th century novelist and poet suffered from insomnia and walked around her dining room table to get sleepy.


Marissa Mayer catches up on sleep during weeklong vacations every four months.

Yahoo’s CEO is known to be a workaholic, sometimes clocking as many as 130 hours in a week, which doesn’t leave her much time for sleep. She is said to recharge every four months by taking weeklong vacations.


Charles Dickens slept facing north to improve his creativity.

The writer always kept a navigation compass with him to ensure that he wrote and slept facing north and believed that this quirky practice improved his creativity.

Dickens supposedly suffered from insomnia.

Michael Phelps sleeps in a chamber with air comparable to 8,500 to 9,000 feet.

By placing his bedroom at this high altitude, Phelps decreases oxygen, which forces his body to work harder to produce more red blood cells and deliver oxygen to his muscles. It also helps Phelps increase his performance endurance and prepare himself for competitions at high elevations.

“Once I’m already in my room I still have to open a door to get into my bed,” Phelps said on CBS News program “60 Minutes” in 2012. “It’s just like a giant box. It’s like ‘boy and the bubble.'”


About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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