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Top 10 Bizarre Sleep Habits of the Rich

by Adrian Sharp
fact checked by Rachel Jones

You may not believe this, but sleeping is a very controversial topic. People are torn between what the doctors say about an average of 8 hours a night and celebrities like Steve Harvey saying if you sleep 8 hours a day, you will never be successful in life.

No matter where you fall on the sleep debate, there are some actual benefits to getting enough sleep. Your immune system gets a boost; it improves your mental capacity, reduces stress, and helps to improve your mood. The rich and the famous have their own ways of trying to hack sleep to make it work better for them. Here are 10 bizarre sleep habits of the rich.

Related: 10 Absurd Sleep Habits Of Wild Animals

10 Michael Phelps Sleeps in an Elevation Chamber

Michael Phelps: The ultimate compilation of all 23 gold medals | NBC Sports

Estimated Net Worth—$80 million

Why They Are Rich and Famous

Michael Phelps is an Olympic Gold Medalist with 28 medals, 23 of which are gold. In case you were wondering, that is an insane amount of medals for any sport. He currently holds the record for being the most decorated Olympian ever.

His sleeping habits might actually play a huge role in his performance. Phelps sleeps in a chamber that makes it seem like he is at an elevation of about 9,000 feet. Essentially, he forces his body to adapt to less oxygen by increasing his red blood cell count. This means that when he is competing, his body has more endurance, and oxygen is delivered more efficiently to his muscles.

Is it worth it?

This seems more beneficial for athletes than the average person. However, it’s clear that it works with the rising popularity of altitude training.

9 Leonardo da Vinci Took Power Naps to the Extreme

How Leonardo Da Vinci Truly Changed the World

Estimated Net Worth—$1.5 million

Why They Are Rich and Famous

He is arguably the second most famous Leonardo, at least since Dicaprio made his acting debut. Leonardo da Vinci was a master of pretty much everything. He was a painter, inventor, mathematician, engineer, and architect, among other things. Although he has the famous part, the rich might not best describe him during his lifetime. However, he painted the Mona Lisa and the Salvator Mundi, which sold for a whopping $450 million in 2017.

Da Vinci had a sleep schedule of taking 20-minute naps every four hours. That means that in a 24-hour period, he would sleep a total of 120 minutes or two hours. A two-hour nap is a bare minimum for me.

Is it worth it?

No! While Da Vinci was a success story for following this extreme polyphasic sleep schedule, the average person wouldn’t be able to keep this up for very long.

8 Marissa Mayer Gives Up Sleep for Quarterly Vacations

Marissa Mayer: Work with Smart People

Estimated Net Worth—$600 million

Why They Are Rich and Famous

Marissa Mayer is the former CEO of Yahoo! and now a board member of Walmart. She was one of Google’s first employees and is responsible for some of the search engine’s earliest successes.

Mayer is a bonafide workaholic who sleeps for around four hours a night while working 130 hours a week. In order to make up for the lost sleep, she takes quarterly vacations where she completely unplugs from work and gets a full 8 hours of sleep every night.

Is it worth it?

Mayer is a clear success story, but she also has a team of people working for her to help make up for any mishaps. For example, according to an interview with Inc., she missed an important dinner with executives because she fell asleep. It might not be worth it, Mayer. Just saying.

7 Matt Mullenweg Schedules 6 Sleeping Periods Throughout His Day

Why working from home is good for business | The Way We Work, a TED series

Estimated Net Worth—$450 million

Why They Are Rich and Famous

Matt Mullenweg is the co-founder of WordPress and CEO of Automattic. He has been an advocate for open-source software and has helped contribute to many projects, including b2evolution and BuddyPress.

Mullenweg follows a sleep schedule of six 40-minute naps throughout the day. He says that this gives him the benefits of a full night’s sleep without sacrificing any time during his day.

Is it worth it?

This is another example of an extreme polyphasic sleep schedule that might work for some people but probably isn’t sustainable in the long run.

6 Indra Nooyl Sleeps for 4 Hours a Day

Indra Nooyi on women’s place in business

Estimated Net Worth—$90 million

Why They Are Rich and Famous

Indra Nooyi is the CEO of Pepsi and has been with the company for over 12 years. She was named the eighth most powerful woman globally by Forbes in 2018.

Nooyi follows a monophasic sleep schedule where she sleeps four hours a day. This allows her to be more productive during her waking hours.

Is it worth it?

While Nooyi is one of the most powerful women globally, it’s not clear if her sleep schedule is actually what contributes to her success. She may be just very good at managing her time.

5 Nikola Tesla Slept for 2 Hours a Day

The Tragic Story of Nikola Tesla

Estimated Net Worth—$100. Yes, just $100.

Why They Are Rich and Famous

Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American inventor and engineer who is best known for his contributions to the electricity industry. He invented the AC motor and developed the Tesla coil.

Like Leonardo Da Vinci, Tesla slept for around two hours a day. He said that this allowed him to have more time for thinking and experimenting. Unlike Da Vinci, though, Nikola made many questionable decisions which is why he died mentally broken and financially destitute—so we’ll just call him famous then.

Is it worth it?

No, Tesla’s sleep schedule is a clear example of why you need to get a full night’s sleep. While he was a genius, his lack of sleep probably contributed to his downfall.

4 Tom Cruise Sleeps in a “Snoratorium”

How Tom Cruise Pulled Off 8 Amazing Stunts | Movies Insider | Insider

Estimated Net Worth—$600 million

Why They Are Rich and Famous

Tom Cruise is one of the most famous actors in the world and has been in many box office hits like the Mission Impossible franchise, Rain Man, and War of the Worlds. He is also famous for his religious beliefs as a Scientologist. But we won’t get into that bag of worms here.

Cruise reportedly sleeps in a “snoratorium” to get enough sleep, which is a soundproofed room where he can sleep without being disturbed.

Is it worth it?

This one depends on you. Some people need absolute silence to sleep; others find it unsettling and need some noise to be able to sleep. Personally, I can’t sleep without noise and at least two fans blowing on me.

3 Cristiano Ronaldo Gets 7–8 Hours a Day

Cristiano Ronaldo 50 Legendary Goals Impossible To Forget

Estimated Net Worth—$500 million

Why They Are Rich and Famous

Cristiano Ronaldo is a professional soccer player who has played for teams like Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus. He is a 5-time Ballon d’Or winner and is widely considered one of the greatest soccer players of all time.

Ronaldo typically sleeps for seven to eight hours a day and says that this allows him to be more alert and energetic on the field. What’s weird about that? He does it in 90-minute sleep sessions.

Is it worth it?

This seems to be the most sustainable as far as polyphasic sleep schedule goes. Ronaldo is a world-class athlete, and his sleep schedule probably has something to do with it.

2 Dwayne Johnson Sleeps 4 Hours a Night

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Answers Increasingly Personal Questions | Slow Zoom | Vanity Fair

Estimated Net Worth—$320 million

Why They Are Rich and Famous

Can you smell what the Rock is cooking? Dwayne Johnson is a failed football player who turned to professional wrestling and is now an actor and businessman. He was the highest-paid actor for two years.

He sleeps three to five hours a night and does this so he can get in two strenuous workouts before he starts working for the day.

Is it worth it?

If you are built like the Rock, then maybe. He says that working out is like meditation to him. Maybe that’s why he can be as busy as he is, happy, and not sleep a full night.

1 Rashad Jennings Sleeps in a Hyperbaric Chamber

Rashad Jennings 2015 NYG Highlights!

Estimated Net Worth—$8 million

Why They Are Rich and Famous

Rashad Jennings is a former NFL running back who played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, and the New York Giants. He is now a commentator and analyst for ESPN.

Jennings sleeps in a hyperbaric chamber that delivers pressurized pure oxygen. This allows him to get more oxygen and improve his sleep quality. He says it helps him recover from injuries and helps him feel better mentally.

Is it worth it?

From the evidence, yeah, it’s worth it. However, most likely out of reach for most people since the price tag is around $20k.

+ Bonus Celebrity—Eminem Needs It Super Dark

Estimated Net Worth—$230 million

Why They Are Rich and Famous

Eminem is one of the most popular rappers of all time and has won 15 Grammy Awards. He has also had some success as an actor, appearing in the movie 8 Mile.

Eminem has insomnia and says he needs it to be pitch black to sleep. To get this, most people would sleep with blackout curtains, but Eminem goes a step further, putting tinfoil on the window to reflect all light.

Is it worth it?

No, not really. You will end up with a weird-looking bedroom and probably still can’t sleep.

fact checked by Rachel Jones