Sleeping habits of famous people

While science has shown time and time again that certain sleeping habits can help you get a better night’s sleep, it’s important to remember that sleep habits vary by individual. And nowhere do we see this more than in the fascinating and often strange habits of great thinkers and artists.

See how these famous people slept:


Winston Churchill

The British Prime Minister loved his midday naps so much that he kept a bed made up in the House of Parliament. He attributed his naps to his success in WWI.


Donald Trump

Current US president Donald Trump is reported to sleep only 3-4 hours per night.


Elon Musk

The South-African born business magnate and innovator sleeps six hours a night, from 1AM-7AM. He often sleeps over in the Tesla factory, and his employees report that he keeps a sleeping bag hidden in a conference room overlooking the production line.


Sigmund Freud

The infamous philosopher slept 6 hours a night. This might be related to his habit of experimenting on himself with large doses of cocaine.


Florence Nightingale

Famous as the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale was a clever lady who believed in the importance of healthy habits. However, her sleep schedule of four hours of light sleep every night was not thought to be unusual or unhealthy.


Emily Bronte

Emily is the author of Wuthering Heights, considered one of the finest novels in the English language. She was an insomniac, prone to walking around and around her dining room until she felt sleepy. She died young from tuberculosis.


Mary Shelley

The author of the famous gothic horror novel Frankenstein suffered from sleep paralysis, which may have inspired some of the themes in her book.


Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh was one of the finests artists in the world, and famously committed suicide. Haunted by insomnia, Van Gogh would douse his pillow in a chemical called camphor (similar to turpentine). Inhaling this camphor night after night poisoned him and likely helped drive him to his end.


Stephen King

The writer of classic horror novels like Carrie and The Shining has a very specific sleep routine. He needs to brush his teeth, wash his hands, and check that the open side of his pillowcase faces the other side of the bed.


Shaquille O’Neal

The famous basketball player suffers from sleep apnea. During the night, he will stop breathing for a few seconds. This will happen several times a night.



The rapper and producer Eminem has an odd sleep routine. He places tinfoil over the windows to keep the light out. He likes to have white noise playing while he sleeps. Eminem says the white noise helps him to sleep while he’s crossing different time zones while on tour.


What are your sleep habits?

Read more interesting sleep habits of famous people in this infographic.