Updated at: 13-09-2022 - By: Jane

Understand how much sleep you need because it is definitely crucial to your daily functioning. Sleep deprivation can lead to a wide variety of problems, some of which we’ll illustrate here. Understanding how our individual sleep habits affect our work performance is crucial given the vital nature of sleep. Many people are curious about the routines of exceptionally intelligent people, such as geniuses. We think this is worth looking into further. We will compare and contrast the nighttime routines of some of history’s most celebrated thinkers and doers.
In the end, this would help us figure out if the routines of the very bright differ from those of the rest of the population. Let’s get right down to business then, shall we?

Most Geniuses Perfected the Power Nap

Yes, that’s roughly correct. Many of them appear to assume that losing sleep is unacceptable if they are to maintain their competitive edge. Thus, they would cut back on their nighttime sleep in order to maximize their productivity throughout the day. A “power sleep” is what they would use instead. Famous proponents of this idea include Nicola Tesla and Thomas Edison. The theory of the power nap postulates that a short nap of about 20 minutes will quickly restore energy and get your mind back into productive functioning order. This is a short-term solution to exhaustion, helping you to stay going for a little while longer.
Obviously there are bounds to this. Even if you could, your brain would require a longer, unbroken cycle to fully recuperate, which is impossible. If you don’t get enough shut-eye, you’ll be putting yourself in a dangerous situation. How dangerous is it, exactly? Well, let’s find out.

Image of a young woman power napping on her back

How Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Brain

You may believe that getting enough sleep is a luxury you can’t afford, yet failing to do so is medically recognized as a sleep disorder. This is a serious issue in the present day, with far-reaching negative consequences that affect every aspect of our waking lives. Most ambitious people are willing to put their bodies through the wringer in order to attain success in today’s fast-paced society, when everyone is obsessed with climbing the corporate ladder. However, you must accept the fact that sleep is inescapable and crucial to our daily functioning. You’ll be unable to do anything if you don’t get enough sleep, and that’s going to hurt you a lot more in the long run than scheduling some downtime every day. Remember that the next time you decide to go on a work binge and put in consecutive 16-hour days. If you still don’t believe us, we’ll give you some real-life examples of some of the world’s brightest minds who have ever lived.

Sleeping Habits from 11 Geniuses

How Much Did Albert Einstein Sleep?

image of Albert Einstein

The term “Albert Einstein” has become synonymous with “genius” in today’s culture. In the field of theoretical physics, his theory of General Relativity is what made him renowned. The vast majority of people would have seen his renowned and hilarious photographs in lecture halls and laboratories. After all, Einstein is widely regarded as a sleep-obsessed devotee. Once upon a time, he regularly slept for ten hours each night. Obviously, this is above average. Remember that he also napped during the day. It’s plain to see that he had a quite lax and permissive outlook on sleep. Wow, look at how that turned out!

Nikola Tesla Used Regular Naps

Image of Nikola Tesla

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

The way we use electricity now is often credited to Tesla, one of the most well-known inventors in history. Many of his creations are rumored to be kept under wraps because our society is not yet prepared to embrace such advanced technology.

Whatever the case may be, Tesla wasn’t a major sleeper. Even though he had a fantastic mind, he was only getting a few hours of sleep a night, and by the time he turned 25, this was already proving to be extremely problematic. He overcame it and made up for his sleeplessness by taking short naps during the day. With this, he was able to find his bearings again.

Leonardo Da Vinci

sculpture of Leonardo da Vinci

Almost certainly no one on Earth has never heard of Da Vinci. Da Vinci was a major figure in the Renaissance as both a painter (he created the famous Mona Lisa) and an inventor (he created the helicopter). Like his inventions, his sleeping routine was groundbreaking. The polyphasic sleep pattern, sometimes known as the “Da Vinci Sleep Schedule,” is commonly credited to Da Vinci. This comprises taking 20-minute “power naps” at regular intervals throughout the day. Assuming a 24-hour day, this equated to about 5 hours of sleep. The main benefit is that he didn’t have to dedicate a huge block of time to doing nothing. This, however, is not the best course of action if you care about your health in any way.

Emily Bronté


Photo Credit: Emily’s Poetry Blog

Author and poet Emily Bront is a literary legend of the nineteenth century. Unfortunately, she had one of the worst cases of sleep deprivation. She suffered from severe insomnia and was unable to obtain adequate rest.

In fact, she often slept off while pacing around the dining room table. There should be some thought given to this. Treating insomnia promptly is crucial.


Winston Churchill

image of Winston Churchill

The man widely regarded as one of the greatest politicians in history, Winston Churchill, had some somewhat peculiar routines when it came time for bed. In fact, he maintained a bed in the House of Representatives because he thought that taking naps contributed to his effective leadership. In light of this, every day at 5 o’clock he would drink a weak whiskey and soda and then go to sleep for two hours. His famed siesta allowed him to work around 16 hours each day. Perhaps this explains why he kept such an erratic schedule, as seen by reports of him holding war cabinet discussions while in the tub.

Thomas Edison

image of Thomas Edison

Edison is one of the most well-known people in the world because of his creation of the light bulb, which is used in virtually every home in the developed world today. But he was firm in his conviction that sleep is pointless and boring. In fact, he would try everything in his power to drastically cut down on the amount of time he spent sleeping. He, like Leonardo da Vinci, made use of the polyphasic sleep pattern. This is an approach to sleeping that prioritizes naps in order to maximize available awake time.

Charles Dickens


As a well-known insomniac, Dickens developed some peculiar rituals to help him get to sleep. To begin, he made sure that his bed was oriented toward north at all times and carried a compass with him at all times to double-check. The second was that he periodically went on long, epic adventures after lying down and trying to sleep and instead going for a walk around London. From his home in Tavistock Square, Dickens walked the 30 miles to his rural estate near Rochester. Only after the sun rose could Dickens, like many other insomniacs, fall asleep.

Ludwig van Beethoven


Beethoven, the world-famous composer, had a multifaceted character and produced a vast body of work. Despite his numerous health problems, he maintained a very regular sleep schedule of ten hours per night followed by six hours of wakefulness. He may not have suffered from sleeplessness himself, but his drowsy compositions helped many people all over the world catch some shut-eye.

William Shakespeare

“How have I scared thee, O sleep, O sweet sleep, Nature’s tender nurse?” We’re made of the stuff of dreams, and each day of our short lives is capped off with a nap. If you go to sleep, you might as well dream, but that’s the rub. Many of the most evocative reflections on sleep in the English language can be found in the works of the Bard, but what of the man himself? Not much is known about Shakespeare’s sleeping habits, despite the abundance of information about his life and writings. Shakespeare’s work on sleep, however, reveals a depth of feeling, richness, and complexity that may indicate a troubled sleeper. The lines “Weary with toil, I speed me to my bed” from Sonnet 27 seem to sum up his chronic insomnia the best. The welcome relief for weary limbs after a long journey; However, my mind soon sets off on an adventure of its own. To put my brain to use once my physical labor has ended. and “Lo! thus my limbs by day, my mind at night,” No peace for thee or I to discover.

Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley, author of the groundbreaking gothic horror novel Frankenstein, claimed that the inspiration for the story came to her in a “waking dream,” which many have taken to be an episode of sleep paralysis. Parasomnias, of which sleep paralysis is a member, are so-called because of the disturbing and peculiar experiences they cause in sufferers. Sleep paralysis episodes are characterized by lucid awareness of one’s surroundings but temporary paralysis of the body, and are frequently reported as terrifying because of the appearance of supernatural or otherworldly beings. Indeed, the setting for Shelley’s bad experience couldn’t have been more appropriate: a night spent reciting ghost stories in front of an open fire as a storm raged outside, and a literary challenge to the gathering guests from Lord Byron to construct their own eerie narrative. Whether Shelley’s inspiration came from a sleep problem or her bright mind, nearly two centuries after its inception, her work has not lost any of its potency.

Marie Curie

Marie Curie, a Polish-born physicist, radiography pioneer, and double Nobel Prize laureate, was notoriously sleep-deprived during her time as a student in Paris. There are stories about Curie fainting out in the library from tiredness, and accounts of her trying to sleep in a chilly garret when it was too cold to do so. Later in life, while Curie was making groundbreaking discoveries in radiation research, she began keeping a jar of radium next to her bed. Her early demise can be attributed to the radiation she was subjected to on the job.

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To Conclude

Now, it’s obvious that some geniuses do have unusual sleeping habits, but that it’s not true of all of them.

However, there is no conclusive connection between how much time you spend sleeping and your level of intelligence. This is a fact that can be verified right here in the article itself. Consider the works of Tesla and Einstein. Both men possessed enormous intelligence, but their approaches to life were very different. One of them averaged less than three hours per night at a given period of his life, while the other got more than ten.

These are serious things to think about. The most essential consideration is the need of getting enough sleep. Inadequate intake has the potential to bring on unpleasant consequences. It’s only a matter of time before sleep deprivation becomes an imposition and causes a wide range of cognitive problems. Get at least six to eight hours of sleep per night (ideally all through the night) and stop wondering if that’s what geniuses do.

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