Some of the most successful and influential people of our generation sleep very little. It would make sense that a person who only sleeps for 4 hours nightly would have much more time to succeed that his or her counterparts, who crash for 7 to 9 hours nightly. Those extra 3 to 5 hours are half a workday. Men like real estate legend Donald Trump and rap mogul and producer Puff Daddy are known for their extremely short sleeping cycles. Should you try it?
The right combination of recovery resources is what you should be seeking. Men like Puff Daddy and Donald Trump are able to recover from their daily requirements faster than others. Is it due to improved nutrition? It’s entirely possible. The men have the ability to have gourmet, nutritious meals prepared by a personal chef. Maybe it’s because they aren’t subject to the physical rigors that many of us face. They have maids and personal assistants to devote time and energy to things like changing diapers and buying groceries from the store. Imagine how well-rested you’d be with those tasks handled for you? Their cortisol levels must be much lower from their financial security as well. Most people worry about money – they do not. There is also the possibility that they have access to health care quality that we couldn’t even dream of. There probably isn’t some magical supplement which makes people live and feel better – but if there is, you can rest assured that men worth hundreds of millions of dollars will hear about it first.
Finally, there is the possibility that they’re just built differently. Obviously they are of “Type-A” personalities, and are driven much more than most other people to succeed. Maybe they have found some combination of functions – either intentional or innate – that just allows them to do more.
You can’t emulate what they do. You don’t have their vast resources. You have additional responsibilities that they do not. However, you can emulate their success using your own set of individual factors. Do you require 8 hours of sleep each night to fully recover from your daily workload of work, school, family, and the gym? Scale back in any area which is siphoning off precious resources which could be used more efficiently elsewhere. If you would rather have an extra two hours of work time each night, then cut back on the hour of intramural basketball you enjoy each week. You’ll need less sleep to recover, which will give you more time for other activities. Likewise, you may discover that more food will mean you need less sleep.
This isn’t to say that you should deprive yourself of sleep. You grow when you sleep, and people who are well-rested are healthier in many ways. Instead, you should look at your current energy expenditures, compared to your current recovery inputs (nutrition, sleep, supplements, and anabolic steroids) and determine if some adjustment to this ratio could contribute to less sleep being required. Or, if keeping sleep steady and increasing the other recovery inputs could lead to some new growth. It’s interesting food for thought!
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