How the great legends slept

Travel and Living
Napoleon Bonaparte

The notorious Napoleon Bonaparte was a whirlwind of energy during campaigns, galloping about and hatching ambushes. He would go days on end without sleeping a wink. But he could nod off at the drop of a hat wedged in an oppressive trench with cannons booming in the hood. And once the battle was over he slept for eighteen hours at a stretch.


Makes you wonder if great minds have different sleeping patterns. So, let’s have a look at the sleep quirks and habits of some of the great thinkers of our time.


Don’t have to be Einstein to sleep 10 hours. Or do you?

Yes, this Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist who gave us the theory of general relativity slept for ten long hours every day. Add to this his daytime naps and we could hazard a relatively general theory of our own: sleep like a cat and wake up to revolutionise the world with path-breaking innovations. On a more serious note, it goes to show that sleep habits are unique to individuals.


Regular 8 hours for larger than life Ludwig van Beethoven

This musical virtuoso who illuminated the world with hauntingly beautiful melodies like the choral symphony slept regular hours. Despite many health issues, he had a surprisingly normal 10 pm to 6 am snooze routine. Strangely, he also helped countless insomniacs around the world get some much-needed snooze time with his calming musical pieces.


5 hours of sleep for the Mona Lisa maestro

This famous polymath and artist, Leonardo Da Vinci, slept in spurts for twenty minutes to two hours multiple times a day. Do the math. It rounded up to five hours of sleep in a day. This snoozing for brief periods throughout the day is now called “The Da Vinci Sleep Schedule”.  It’s not most people’s cup of tea. But then again most people aren’t Da Vinci.


2 hours of sleep for the “mad scientist”

Yes, we’re talking about the trailblazer in electrical engineering, inventor, Nikola Tesla. This eccentric genius claimed he rarely slept for more than two hours a day. What takes the biscuit though is that on one occasion he worked for eighty-four hours in his laboratory without sleeping. Unbelievable much? But it’s also said that he took power naps during the day which in his own words “recharged his batteries”.


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