Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and other highly successful people who sleep 7 to 8 hours a night (2023)

Accomplished people from Apple CEO Tim Cook to singer Dolly Parton claim that waking up extremely early is the key to making the most out of a workday.

But when it comes to productivity, success and health, getting a solid night's sleep is just as important.

Tobias Lutke, founder and CEO of the e-commerce company Shopify, said in a tweet Thursday that he has to sleep a full night in order to be successful at work.

"I need 8ish hours of sleep a night," Lutke wrote. "Same with everybody else, whether we admit it or not." Indeed, it's recommended that adults get seven or more hours of sleep a night, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Tobias Lutke tweet

Lutke's tweet was in response to a debate on Twitter about whether it's necessary for employees to work nights and weekends.

(Video) How many hours a day do successful people sleep? | Elon Musk, Bill Gates, The Rock and others

Jason Fried, CEO and founder of Basecamp, said that requiring employees to work long hours is a sign that a company is "broken." However, Ryan Selkis, CEO and co-founder of bitcoin company Messari, argued: "If you don't work nights and weekends in your 20s, you're not going to have a successful career. Sorry."

Jason Fried tweet

However, plenty of people who have had successful careers also swear by sleep.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates said that he used to regularly pull all-nighters in the beginning of his career at Microsoft.

"I knew I wasn't as sharp when I was operating mostly on caffeine and adrenaline, but I was obsessed with my work, and I felt that sleeping a lot was lazy," he recently wrote on his blog.

Now, the billionaire Microsoft co-founder gets at least seven hours of shut-eye, and wrote that all people need that much, "even if you've convinced yourself otherwise."

(Video) What Jeff Bezos Says About Sleep

Jack Ma

Jack Ma, billionaire entrepreneur and founder of the Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba, has said that sleep is key to handling stress and problem-solving.

"If I don't sleep well, the problem will still be there," Ma said at the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos. "If I sleep, I have a better chance to fight it."

Research supports Ma's habit: Studies suggest that sleep deprivation negatively impacts your cognitive functioning, which includes decision-making, creativity and memory.

Jeff Bezos

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has said that getting eight hours of sleep helps him make the high-level decisions that are necessary for a senior executive.

"Eight hours of sleep makes a big difference for me, and I try hard to make that a priority," Bezos told Thrive Global in Nov. 2016. "For me, that's the needed amount to feel energized and excited."

(Video) Elon Musk Shares How Many Hours of Sleep He Needs to Be Productive!

LeBron James

NBA star LeBron James' job requires him to perform at his peak both mentally and physically, which is why sleep is such a big part of his recovery routine.

James gets at least eight hours of sleep a night, and sometimes aims for nine, he said on a Nov. 2018 episode of the podcast "The Tim Ferriss Show." While he doesn't always "wake up and feel 100%," making sleep a consistent habit is the best way to recover, he said.

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How many hours of sleep does Jeff Bezos get? ›

Jeff Bezos has revealed his optimal sleep time in order to be the best he can at his job. The Amazon mogul's success is seen as the ultimate goal for entrepreneurs. "I get eight hours of sleep a night.

Do successful people sleep for 8 hours? ›

But the majority manage to get at least 6 hours, as you can see in the list below detailing the sleep habits of 10 highly successful people: Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX: 6 hours (1am — 7am) Tim Cook, CEO of Apple: 7 hours (9:30pm — 4:30am) Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft: 7 hours (12am — 7am)

How many hours of sleep does Bill Gates get? ›

Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and other highly successful people who sleep 7 to 8 hours a night. Jeff Bezos, head of Amazon, can be seen on the fringes of the company's novelties event.

Do rich people get 8 hours of sleep? ›

While some billionaires are genetically fortunate to require only 3-4 hours of sleep, others force themselves to sleep less, and others sleep the typical 8 hours a night.

How many does Elon Musk sleep? ›

He says he likes getting around six to six-and-a-half hours of sleep per night. Sleeping in is not an option for him, saying it affects his performance more than if he sleeps less.

How many hours of sleep does Oprah get? ›

The talk show host, author and philanthropist reportedly gets eight hours of sleep between the hours of 10pm and 6am, with her last and first thoughts of the day centred upon gratitude. In the morning, rather than check her phone, Winfrey brushes her teeth and cares for her dogs before heading to her home gym.

How many hours does a rich person sleep? ›

Successful entrepreneurs, including Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett, prioritise rest and swear by seven to eight hours of peaceful sleep.

Is it true successful people sleep less? ›

Generally, high achievers tend to sleep less, Brager tells CNET. "If you look at US presidents, successful CEOs and military leaders, many report sleeping little but feeling fine and don't need stimulants to stay awake," she says. "Daily sleep needs fall along the bell curve like most physiological processes in nature.

What happens when you start sleeping 8 hours a day? ›

Get sick less often. Stay at a healthy weight. Lower your risk for serious health problems, like diabetes and heart disease. Reduce stress and improve your mood.

How many hours Mark Zuckerberg sleep? ›

How many hours of sleep does Mark Zuckerberg have? Mark Zuckerberg is one of the more normal internet entrepreneurs where sleep is concerned. Mark wakes up at around 8 am every day and sleeps at normal times: he gets 7 – 8 hours of sleep each day and has no specific sleeping habits.

How many hours do most billionaires sleep? ›

Successful entrepreneurs, including Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett, prioritise rest and swear by seven to eight hours of peaceful sleep.

How many hours of sleep did Einstein get? ›


It's common knowledge that sleep is good for your brain – and Einstein took this advice more seriously than most. He reportedly slept for at least 10 hours per day – nearly one and a half times as much as the average American today (6.8 hours).


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