Extreme Sleeping Habits of the Rich and Famous

We all try and get enough sleep, it’s the staple isn’t it to make sure that we’re running at full speed during the day, and we feel cranky and uncomfortable without it. There have been numerous reports suggesting what the ideal amount of sleep is, some claim eight hours to be the magic number, while others suggest that we should be functioning on less, and some even advise that an occasional late bed-time can have a detrimental effect on your long term sleeping habits. We all have our own sleeping habits and preferences for comfort in bed, especially because we spend so much of our lives there. With this in mind, we’ve been looking at some of the most extreme sleeping habits of famous faces, with six truly bizarre routines revealed.

Michael Essien

15 Hours a Night Sees Essien Through

The former Ivory Coast national team captain and Chelsea midfield general was famous for his robust style on the football pitch, and boundless energy. He attributed this to the fact that he would kip well over society’s norm, sleeping ‘probably 14 hours’ a day. He suggested in 2008 ‘I love sleep. Give me one minute and I’ll sleep for 30 seconds!’  

Leonardo da Vinci

 da Vinci thrived on 2 hours of sleep a day

This terrifically talented inventor and intellectual great favoured a less sedate way to spend half of his day. During his life, the renaissance man wanted to maximise the time he could spend on his work, and so followed the Uberman sleep cycle. This somewhat extreme theory is part of a Polyphasic cycle, which encourages sleepers to take a 20-minute nap every four hours throughout the day – totalling two hours in 24. While it’s not something that we think we could survive doing, da Vinci’s lifetime achievements certainly prove that you can pack an awful lot into 67 years!  

René Descartes

Rene Descartes Thrived With a Lie-In

He’s one of the most famous philosophers, and so René Descartes was always going to have his own way of doing things, this is shown best by his sleeping habits. He shunned the normal approach of his time, when the majority would be up early in the morning, and would instead rise around midday, drifting off at midnight. It was thought that his best thinking was done in bed, and that this relaxed approach to sleep was one that allowed him to develop his theories. There have been suggestions that when he was employed by Queen Christina of Sweden drastic changes to his sleep pattern killed him. He acted as a tutor for the monarch in the final year of his life, and she insisted that he rose earlier in the morning for sessions, Descartes died within months of this new regime, after contracting a fever.

Michael Phelps

24 hour Olympic preparation from Michael Phelps

As a man who is the most decorated Olympian in history, surely Michael Phelps must be doing something right with his sleep. He retired after Rio 2016 with a total of 25 medals – a remarkable 23 of them gold -  and it has been revealed that his sleep was monitored by his team during training, and that before high profile races he would sleep in a high altitude chamber. The air of this capsule is set to the equivalent of an elevation of 8,500 to 9,000 feet, which decreases the amount of oxygen available, forcing his body into working harder to produce more red blood cells and delivery oxygen to his muscles, and most importantly increasing his lung capacity.

Mariah Carey

This sleeping diva requires more than eight hours

She’s famed for being a diva, having outrageous demands on her rider and of course a great voice, and so Mariah Carey’s sleeping habits aren’t that much of a surprise. In an interview, she admitted that she’s ‘got to sleep 15 hours to sing the way I want to’, and that her bed is surrounded by humidifiers, saying ‘basically, it’s like sleeping in a steam room, I’ll have 20 humidifiers around my bed’. Well, we’re not sure exactly what 20 will do that one can’t, but bet that she’s got a great mattress!

Tom Cruise

Sleeping alone has reportedly become common for Tom Cruise

Last, but no means least is Tom Cruise, who has perhaps the most anti-sociable sleeping habit of our line-up. For a man who always seems to be calm and collected in his film roles and in public, it turns out he’s a difficult person to be around when he nods off. It has been reported that not long after marrying his now ex-wife, Katie Holmes, the newlyweds weren’t sleeping in the same room, due to his constant snoring. The Mission Impossible actor, supposedly slept in a soundproof snoratorium at the back of their Beverly Hills mansion, just to give everyone a break.