19 Successful People Who Barely Sleep
1.Marissa Mayer, Yahoo CEO
Mayer gained a reputation for working
extremely hard at Google, working as many
as 130 hours some weeks, leaving little
time for sleep.
The Guardian reports that she needs only
four to six hours a night. She recharges
by taking weeklong vacations every four
2.Jack Dorsey, Twitter founder
and Square CEO
Being at the head of two exciting tech
startups doesn’t leave too much time for
rest. In 2011, Dorsey told Kara Swisher that
he was spending 8-10 hours a day at
Square, and 8-10 hours a day at Twitter.
That left him somewhere around four to
six hours a night to sleep, possibly less
when travel time is factored in.
3.Donald Trump, chairman of
The Trump Organization
According to The Daily News, Trump
credits his success to sleeping only three
to four hours each night to stay a step
ahead of his competition.
He does not seem to understand how sleep
and success can co-exist according to his
quote in The Daily News: “How does
somebody that’s sleeping 12 and 14 hours a
day compete with someone that’s sleeping
three or four?”
4.Kelly Ripa, host of “Live!
with Kelly and Michael”
In addition to her daily show with new co-
host Michael Strahan, Ripa also has three
kids and a production company she owns
with her husband Mark Consuelos.
With all of this on her plate, Ripa is
unbelievably both a night owl and an early
bird. According to an interview with Good
Housekeeping, Ripa usually falls asleep
between midnight and 1 a.m. and wakes
up at 6:15 a.m..
5.Jay Leno, host of ‘The
In addition to hosting “The Tonight Show,”
Leno still manages to tour on the comedy
circuit, averaging over 150 gigs a year.
Perhaps mimicking some of the people that
stay up to watch his 11:35 p.m. show,
Leno only sleeps about five hours a
6.Indra Nooyi, chairman and
CEO of PepsiCo
One of the world’s most prominent female
executives since getting the job in 2007,
Nooyi sleeps a meager four hours a
night, according to CNN Money .
She’s no stranger to long hours, having
worked the graveyard shift as a
receptionist while getting her masters at
7.Dominic Orr, president and
CEO of Aruba Networks
According to the Wall Street Journal,
Aruba CEO Dominic Orr sleeps an
average of only four hours. He makes a
habit of rising before dawn and usually
works into the evening.
Fortune Magazine reports that this is
actually an improvement. He sometimes
put in 18-hour days while an executive at
HP during the 1990s, and would continue
making phone calls and answering emails
during his few hours at home.
8.Willie Gest, MSNBC host
Geist’s show “Way Too Early with Willy
Geist” airs on weekdays at 5:30 a.m.,
and he rises before the sun at 3:30 a.m.
In an article for Bloomberg Businessweek ,
Geist described a few tricks to staying
awake. He wrote, “If you catch your body
at a weak moment, as I often do, it might
actually believe you when you tell it after
four hours of sleep that you actually slept a
full night and you feel like a million
9.Sergio Marchionne, Fiat CEO
After his turnaround of Fiat and part in
the resurrection of Chrysler, Marchionne is
one of the most renowned executives in
the automotive world.
He’s kept a punishing schedule throughout.
According to Alex Taylor at Fortune ,
Marchionne works on four hours of
sleep a night, fueled by coffee and
10.Steve Reinemund, former
Former CEO of PepsiCo Steven Reinemund
made a habit of waking up at 5 am and
taking a four-mile run, and sleeps only
five or six hours a night according to
Reinemund told CNN that he goes to bed
around 11 p.m., and does not use an alarm
to wake up. Today Reinemund is the Dean
of Business at Wake Forest University.
11.Tom Ford, fashion designer
After dropping out of NYU to pursue a
career in fashion design, Tom Ford quickly
landed a position as design director at
Gucci. Under his leadership, Gucci’s value
increased by 90 percent.
He does not attribute this success to talent,
but says its due to his energy. It must be
pretty intense, considering that Ford
sleeps only three hours a night.
12.Herb Kelleher, co-founder of
Inc. reports that during his time at the
helm of Southwest, Kelleher slept only
four hours a night.
That hard work paid off. Although Kelleher
is now retired, Southwest remains one of
the few continuously-profitable airlines.
14.Julie Smolyansky, CEO of
Smolyansky took over the dairy company
her father had started in 2002 at the young
age of 27.
It took a great deal of work for her to do
so. She told Fortune that she managed it
by sleeping as little as four hours many
15.Martha Stewart, chair of
Martha Stewart Omnimedia
Stewart’s company produces four
magazines , Martha Stewart Living , Everyday
Food, Weddings, and Whole Living. She
additionally has a TV show , radio
show and product lines in stores
like Staples and Michaels .
She keeps an impressive schedule while
running her business, and according
to CNN Money , she sleeps less than four
hours a night.
16.Condoleeza Rice, former
U.S. Secretary of State
Despite traveling the world constantly as
17.George W. Bush’s Secretary of State,
Condoleeza Rice made a habit of getting
up at 4:30 a.m. to go to the gym, no
matter where she was.
Stanley McChrystal, former
You would think that the former General of
all U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan
would have needed an immense amount of
energy to perform his job.
Most people get theirs from a few meals a
day and a good night’s sleep. Not
McChrystal. According to Time, he eats
one meal per day and sleeps only four
hours a night.
18. Barack Obama, President of
the United States
Michael Lewis’ recent profile in Vanity Fair
revealed the president’s usual schedule; he
goes to bed at about 1:00 a.m and is up
at 7:00 a.m. He doesn’t always get those
Aides in the White House must constantly
decide what type of crisis is important
enough to wake the President during his
few hours of sleep.
19.Bill Clinton, former U.S.
Though he’s changed his sleep habits after
his heart surgery, Bill Clinton was
renowned for sleeping only five or six
hours a night throughout his
president apparently a habit he developed quite
early. According to The New York Times, a
professor at Georgetown told him great
men require less sleep.
Ma Ying-Jeou, president of
Earlier this year, Ma Ying-jeou was elected
to his second term as Taiwan’s President.
The New York Times ascribes his success to
an intense discipline and work ethic; he
sleeps five hours a night and routinely
rises at dawn to jog.
BONUS: Historic figures
Thomas Edison: The famous inventor only
required about three to four hours of shut
eye each night according to The New York
Times. He regarded sleep as “a heritage
from our cave days.”
Benjamin Franklin: In his autobiography,
Franklin published his typical daily
schedule. He appears to have slept only 5
hours a night, from 11:00 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Nikola Tesla: An even more restless
inventor than Franklin or Edison,
a biography of Tesla by a personal friend
claims that he would sleep as little as two
hours a night.
Margaret Thatcher: Britain’s longest
serving Prime Minister was famous for
getting by on just four hours of sleep each
night while in office, according to the BBC.