Have you ever wondered how successful people get it all done? Apparently, they don’t skimp on their sleep in order to find extra hours in the day. But they do seem to get up earlier than the rest of us, giving some credence to Ben Franklin’s saying: Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
Forbes magazine looked at the sleep habits of 21 people who most of us would consider successful—including Franklin himself, who routinely went to bed at 10:00 PM and awoke promptly at 5:00 AM. The word “routinely” is important; virtually everyone on the list was consistent about bedtime and awakening time. Some sleep seven hours like Franklin, including Winston Churchill (3:00 AM to 8:00 AM), Bill Gates (midnight to 7:00 AM), Apple CEO Tim Cook (9:30 PM to 4:30 AM), Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington (10:00 PM to 5:00 AM), Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey (10:30 PM to 5:30 AM), and Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos (10:00 PM to 5:00 AM).
People who sleep six hours a night include U.S. President Barack Obama (1:00 AM to 7:00 AM), Yahoo! President Marissa Mayer (midnight to 6:00 AM, but sometimes up by 4:00 AM), AOL CEO Tim Armstrong (11:00 PM to 5:00 AM), Newton Investment Management CEO Helena Morrissey (11:00 PM to 5:00 AM), and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk (1:00 AM to 7:00 AM).
Others sleep or slept only five hours, among them Richard Branson (midnight to 5:00 AM), PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi (11:00 PM to 4:00 AM), and inventor Thomas Edison (11:00 PM to 4:00 AM).
If you sleep eight hours a night, you’re still in good company. That list includes Virgin Money CEO Jayne-Anne Gadhia (10:30 PM to 6:30 AM), MediaCom UK CEO Karen Blacklett (11:30 PM to 7:30 AM), software-as-a-service company Mor founder Rand Fishkin (1:00 AM to 9:00 AM), digital networking guru Neil Patel (11:00 PM to 7:00 AM); Ellen DeGeneres (11:00 PM to 7:00 AM) and Buffer Software co-founder Leo Widrich (1:00 AM to 9:00 AM).
With a handful of exceptions, few of these successful people are staying up late to catch the Late Show, Saturday Night Live or the end of the NFL Monday Night Football game on the East Coast. And few are sleeping past the delivery of the morning paper—which means they’re getting a jump on the rest of the world.