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How Do Successful People's Sleep Patterns Compare To The Average American?

How do successful people's sleep patterns compare to average people?
Seb Oliver
Getty Images/Cultura RF
How do successful people's sleep patterns compare to average people?

Are successful people's sleep patterns giving them a leg-up on average people?

"Successful" people get more shut-eye than you might expect, with more than 50 percent of 21 surveyed clocking in at 6-8 hours every night. An infographic put together by a U.K. furniture store called HomeArena (which coincidentally sells mattresses) shows the sleep routines of 21 political leaders, CEOs, entrepreneurs, media moguls and TV personalities.

There's a serious range here — from Winston Churchill's nightly five hours to Ellen DeGeneres' more luxurious eight hours.

Take a look:

An infographic showing the sleep patterns of 21 highly successful people.
/ Courtesy of www.homearena.co.uk
Courtesy of www.homearena.co.uk
An infographic showing the sleep patterns of 21 highly successful people.

The average amount of sleep per night from these successful people is 6.6 hours.

How does that compare to those of us who are not world leaders or titans of industry?

Turns out, the difference is pretty negligible — the "successful" people get 12 minutes less than the average American. According tothis 2013 Gallup poll,the average American gets 6.8 hours of sleep every night.

So it appears hard to link "success" to any particular sleep pattern. Both the successful people and the average Joes are getting less sleep on average than what experts typically recommend, which is seven to nine hours for adults, Gallup says.

Here are a few other interesting sleep-facts from that Gallup poll:

  • Americans are getting far less sleep than they used to. In 1942, the average American used to get 7.9 hours of sleep per night on average — over an hour more than they do now.
  • Americans think they need more sleep. "43 percent say they would feel better if they got more sleep," according to Gallup.
  • Older Americans sleep the most. 67 percent of adults over 65 told Gallup that they sleep more than seven hours every night. Sleeping the least are people with less than $30,000 annual household income, people that have children under 18, and 18- to 29-year-olds.
  • Another recent poll, this one by the Time Use Survey, found that the average American adult slept 8 hours and 45 minutes every day. That's a lot more than the Gallup poll — but it also included naps and "pre-sleep activities," The Washington Post reported.

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Merrit Kennedy is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers a broad range of issues, from the latest developments out of the Middle East to science research news.