Sleep is one of the few natural body functions that are peculiar to everybody. Male or female, young or old, rich or poor, we all have to sleep. Although sleep seems similar to being comatose, it is entirely different. It is a periodic state of the body and mind which features semi-consciousness and relatively inhibited action of the voluntary muscle.
Sleep is vital for the proper development of the body. Toddlers are advised to get 14 – 17 hours of sleep a day to promote a healthier body and a sharper mind. Adults, however, can make it with 7–8 hours every day. It is essential to maintain memory, mood, and energy levels.
There are a lot of factors that contribute to the quality of your sleep. Improving your diet, getting the best mattress that you can afford and lowering stress can all contribute to better sleep at night, but sometimes this isn’t enough.
For the average adult or teenager, seven to eight hours of sleep every day is not always feasible. Work, chores, and other commitments often get in the way. What about the famous? For most of the few who can call themselves highly successful, sleep is a commodity they just cannot afford. An extra minute of sleep can be the difference between success and failure.
This category of people often have to sacrifice sleeping time or develop unique sleeping patterns. Add the fact that some of them suffer from sleeping disorders, and we get truly weird sleeping habits and patterns.
On the average, there are three major sleeping practices – polyphasic, biphasic, and monophasic sleep. Monophasic sleep takes place when there is only one period of sleep over the course of 24 hours. Biphasic sleepers sleep two times in a day, while polyphasic sleepers use short power naps many times during a day.
The sleeping patterns of famous people vary widely. However, it looks like there is a general trend depending on their professions. Scientists, mathematicians, and inventors generally sleep for the shortest period. Apparently, they consider sleeping a waste of time.
Isaac Newton used to sleep for only three to four hours a day. He was often ill from exhaustion due to refusal to sleep. Nikola Tesla, a famous inventor, used the Uberman sleep cycle and managed to sleep only two hours a day.
Among artists and creative minds, it is the same trend. Buckminster Fuller used a polyphasic sleeping system that amounted to two hours of sleep every day. Salvador Dali didn’t like to sleep; he had a personalized system that woke him up every time he dozed off.
Musicians and entertainers usually have relatively normal sleeping patterns. However, they incorporate weird habits into their sleep. Rapper Eminem sleeps with white noise from radio and television, while actor Tom Cruise sleeps in a totally soundproof room.
The one common denominator, however, is that no matter how long we try to put it off, we have to sleep at one point or the other.