The secret to a great night's sleep

How to sleep like a genius

Part of Margaret Thatcher's formidable reputation was down to how little she slept. The former Prime Minister was believed to get by on just four hours of sleep each night and she was not the only one. 

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Nikola Tesla, the 'grandfather of electricity' was thought to sleep for just two hours a night, while Italian politician Silvio Berlusconi only gets two to four hours, and Barack Obama six hours. Now, a new infographic reveals some of the sleeping habits of the world's most successful people, and most are below the recommended levels of shut eye. Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, averages seven hours sleep and billionaire Donald Trump only gets three to four hours.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of sleep a night for 18-64 years olds to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Despite Thatcher's and Obama's examples, politicians are the group with the most people who get more than nine hours of sleep each night. The chart also shows how people in marketing and PR get the least sleep, with the sector having the highest number of people who sleep less than three hours. '"We wanted to compare these individuals against data from other people working in those sectors." said Made to Measure Blinds who made the graphic.

The researchers took data from a YouGov survey, which asked 1,401 working adults about their sleeping habits to create a chart. People don't necessarily have to get unbroken sleep to get their rest, however, research last year found that interrupted sleep can be as physically detrimental as having no sleep at all.

The study linked interrupted sleep patterns and compromised cognitive abilities, shortened attention spans, and negative moods. The researchers at Tel Aviv University discovered that interrupted sleep is equivalent to no more than four consecutive hours of sleep. Sleeping well is also linked to better health, with those who get enough sleep more likely to have better mental health and less likely to be overweight, develop high blood pressure, raised cholesterol and Type 2 diabetes.

Do you have an unconventional sleep pattern or do you need your eight hours a night? Let us know on our Facebook or Twitter.

Read the top tips from our sleep expert Dr Nerina on how to get a good night's sleep, on our Sleep Toolkit 


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