Highly successful people need to get more sleep

If the most successful people start their days at 4 a.m., then I question just how successful they actually are.

I keep reading articles about how rich people start their days super early in the morning, and it usually just makes me think that I’ve got a much better life than them.

For me, a successful day is one that includes a nap, time to read, or maybe the opportunity to lie in bed and watch television. It certainly doesn’t involve getting up at 4 a.m. to work on reports or spreadsheets. In fact, the only spreadsheets I want to see at 4 a.m. are bed spreads and fitted sheets (not top sheets).

Articles such as this Wall Street Journal piece make good points about how getting up at 4 a.m. is advantageous because there are minimal distractions, most people aren’t emailing you and there is less to see on social media so that you can focus on work. In addition, some people like the quiet of 4 a.m. and others like to jog at that terrible hour so that they can get their exercise out of the way early before they start their work.

While those are all strong arguments, they also raise important questions.

Why not ignore social media for a little while no matter when you are working? – It doesn’t have to be a distraction unless you let it.

Don’t highly successful people have to answer emails early in the morning anyway? – Surely some emails came in later in the day or in the evening, so they will have to spend time on those. Also, they could just ignore their email at a few times during the day so they could focus on their work.

Why not just shut your office door and ask not to be bothered? – Do highly successful people not have doors? Does that allow opportunity to enter freely?

What happens if everyone else follows suit and also begins starting their days at 4 a.m.? – Will the highly successful people then start at 2 a.m.?

Perhaps the key question here, though, is what does this mean for me? – Why do I care what time they get up in the morning? Have you seen how many articles are out there telling you about all of these important habits that we need to copy from highly successful people? I am sure they have some good advice, but so do plenty of people who aren’t highly successful. And how do they define highly successful anyway?

In terms of wealth, fame or power, I’m certainly not highly successful, but surely there’s a lot more to success than that. In fact, this seems like a good time to examine my success.

Money – Well, I’m certainly not rich, but I’m paying my bills and my family and I have a warm house and plenty of food, so I’d say we are pretty doing pretty well. I should also add that the cat would argue that we never have enough food and that I should get up at 4 a.m. to feed her.

Power – Well, I don’t really have much power over people, but the pets sometimes listen to me, the computer turns on when I ask it to, I have finally figured out the remote control and I have the power of persuasiveness to get people to help me. Thinking a little more about it now, the cat never really listens to me.

Fame – I’ll be honest, I think about this item way more than I should. I don’t have thousands of readers and most people don’t know me as a writer. At the same time, though, a few people do read the posts that I put out there, and that’s pretty amazing.

Success, like fame, is all relative. If you want to be writer, you don’t have to follow society’s definition of a “highly successful” writer in order to be a success. I believe that you should define what you determine to be a success.

It’s the same way with whatever you want to do in life. Society puts too much pressure on everyone to live up to its definition of highly successful, when really all that matters is your own definition.

For me, I honestly haven’t gotten all that far with writing, but I’m very happy with my success. I have a great life, family and friends that I could never work hard enough to deserve and a cat that tolerates me.

In addition, I enjoy my writing and love that a few people read it and hopefully enjoy it. Oh, and I’m extremely thankful that I rarely have to get up at 4 a.m. If you like getting up at 4 a.m., then you should do that and I think that’s super. But for me, feel pretty successful about sleeping in until 7 a.m. or so.

28 thoughts on “Highly successful people need to get more sleep

  1. Awwww sleep – I could write a book! I’m not a good sleeper. I come from a long line of people who think 4 am is the perfect time to get up. I try to fight genetics, and sometimes I am highly successful, and sleep until 5:00 or 5:30. My cats judge me on those occasions. Actually, my cats judge me ALL the time. They would consider me highly successful if I could be a stay-at-home cat mom. Sigh

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry you aren’t a good sleeper, but I do think that if you like getting up at 4 a.m., then that probably is a good thing. I agree about the cats being judgmental, too. That’s funny. Thanks and i hope the cats thank you if you are home this weekend.

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    2. I really like this post. Sleep is very important. I have learned that everyone has different bodies and their sleeping patterns are different from person to person. Even the Bible talks about sleep. Ecclesiastes 4:6 says: “Better is a handful of rest than two handfuls of hard work.” Do you think this information is practical?

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      1. Thanks, that’s very nice of you to say. I think that sleep is very important, too. I am not sure what a handful of sleep is (a pillow?) but I think it would be very useful. Thanks again!

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      2. Well, let me try to explain it. Imagine if you were still in school, and you have to study for a test. But, you’ve been up all night. And you try to study for the test at 5 AM in the morning. How productive do you think you would be on the test?

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      3. Exactly. The test is going to be much more productive if you rest some first. I am glad you get the point. Your article also talked about find what is keeping you up. Overcoming my biggest obstacle was hard. But, I Worked hard and it paid off. Now I sleep way better now. I also applied this counsel: “The plan of the diligent leads to success.” (Proverbs 21:5) Do you think this information is beneficial?

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  2. Nick you are a wonderful writer and also a “highly successful” Blogger too.
    How do you know if those who get up at 4am didn’t go to bed at 7:30? Sleep is a key element of life. Without we would die, or at least be tired a lot.
    Thanks for the great post

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  3. I agree with you wholeheartedly. We were not put on this earth to judge others only ourselves. Success can only be defined by the person being judged and if we are judging our own personal success by someone else’s yard stick then somewhere, somehow, something in our lives got twisted.

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  4. I’m the most productive with writing and house work around 2-4pm. I feel that should let me sleep most of the day. I also am the most creative between midnight and 2am. That’s why you are likely to hear from me during those times. But when anlong email suddenly vansishes and Google says it didn’t save it to drafts, I get upset (re: email the other day)

    I don’t need Lin-Manuel Miranda fame and success with writing, but I’d like to just be successful and get published ever so often.

    I have a cat that more than tolerates me…that’s a success, but more often he seems to maybe be pushing me out of bed. Perhaps that means he doesn’t tolerate me?

    You do have good friends and family…and I’m not gonna join the 4am crowd. But hey! Here’s to writing and friendship!

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    1. Thanks! I am very fortunate and happy, and I can’t join the 4 a.m. crowd yet, either. I like staying up late sometimes to write, and noticed that I am funnier then, or at least I think I am funnier then. The problem is that what I write doesn’t seem as funny the next day. Thanks again, and here’s to writing and friendship!

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  5. Everyone should have a different definition of what successful is. I like to break my success into time frames. I am successful if I manage to get all my bathrooms cleaned in an hour or if I got all my laundry done, folded and put away before the football game. I consider myself successful that I have managed to retire and can write more.
    Just do not fool yourself-your cat has all the power.

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    1. I like your definition of success. I tried to do some of that last week before the football game and I failed miserably. I am impressed that you are retired and writing more now, too. I also agree about the cat, but I don’t want her to know. Thanks!

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  6. Who was it who said ‘Nothing succeeds like a toothless budgie’? Well, whoever it was, I hope he’s very sorry.
    I am a 7 am man. I do sod all until about 4pm when I have a little sleep. Then after that it’s dinner and TV until bedtime. Honestly, I don’t think I could fit 4 am in to all that.

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  7. Hi Nick, yet another great post. Like you and all the other commenters here, I don’t define success by another person’s vision. If I get up at 4AM, it’s for one of two possible reasons: Either I have to go to the bathroom or I’m going fishing and I want to be in the creek when the sun comes up. If I catch a fish or seven, SUCCESS!
    I see propaganda all the time like “There is no finish line”. Whatever. There is most certainly a finish line. It’s six feet deep and they put a stone on it when you get there. Ask Jacob Marley.
    Now I don’t want anyone to think I have no respect for ambition, life is empty without it. Me, I want to play in a band. Not at the U2/Pink Floyd level, just a local bar band, but I want to write a song for the ages, something other bands will play and people will know, love and remember after I am gone. I don’t want to go on tour or give interviews or have seven million followers on social media. Set up, sound check, play a good set or two, have a couple beers, wait for Geddy Lee or David Gilmour to show up and, if they keep me waiting too long, (I hate that) take it down and go home. Next week or so, do it again as long as it’s fun. If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. I don’t know who said that, but good one
    Speaking of god ones, thanks, Nick.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kenny, you are the man. Thank you for this comment, and I hope you are playing in a band soon. If not, I hope you are playing on some open stages, street corners or wherever you want to play music. I do like writing for fun and I am pretty happy with the success, just from getting to know people like you on here, and reading your work, too. Have a great weekend, and thanks again!

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  8. Yes!!! I completely agree with you. I hate getting up early. For work, I have to get up at 6:15 three times a week and that is more than enough and if I’m honest, too early for me.
    When I’m on my way to work and I see people run I feel this little jealous sting, but I know full well that if I didn’t have to go to work I’d be in bed, and I wouldn’t be running 😉

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      1. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. And if you would like me said you another article on the same topic or a different topic.

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