Do You Sleep Enough to Be Happy and Wealthy?

The question of how much sleep we need to get is an interesting one. What is even more interesting is the thought that it could greatly affect our personal life, our career and our financial situation.

There have been some famously successful people who have claimed to sleep very little each night. Margaret Thatcher was said to get by with as little as 4 hours a night. Other examples of people who sleep very little are Barrack Obama, Jay Leno, Martha Stewart, Donald Trump, Thomas Edison, Bill Clinton and Benjamin Franklin. They all reportedly sleep or slept 5 hours or less each night. A quick bit of online research shows than many wealth businesspeople and CEOs boast of sleeping very little each night as well. So what are the benefits to the ideal length of kip and how much should you get ideally?

Stay Healthy

Many doctors tell us that we need 8 to 9 hours sleep a day to stay healthy and functioning well. Sleeping less doesn’t seem to have done much damage to the people mentioned above, though. When asked about the subject, Napoleon Bonaparte replied that the ideal number of hours sleep was “six for a man, seven for a woman, eight for a fool”. Meanwhile, an Irish proverb suggests that “a good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures”. We probably all know deep down how much sleep we need to function well at work and in our daily lives. It seems that we aren’t all the same in this respect and some of us need more shuteye than others. Maybe it just comes down to being honest with ourselves about how much we need each night to stay healthy.

Have Time for Work and Family Life

The biggest obvious financial benefit to sleeping less is that it gives you more time to work. This is clearly a huge advantage if you run a company or a website and every extra hour you put in means more income. However, we can’t overlook the fact that it also gives you a chance to obtain a better work-life balance. Let’s look at it this way; there are only 24 hours in a day. If you want to work 12 of those and sleep 8 then you are only left with 4, even before you consider eating time, commuting and anything else you need to do. If you try and sleep a few hours less each night then you will soon find out whether it works for you and lets you find more time for spending with your family without neglecting your work commitments.

A Better Diet

What happens when you try to work after a really bad night’s sleep? Probably the same thing that happens to me in this situation. I rub my eyes, I try to concentrate, I get a strong coffee, I eat some chocolate, I get another strong coffee and so on. This is a typical way to try and get through a day when you are very tired but it isn’t a great idea. Lots of coffee and other stimulants might give you a short term boost but they won’t help your long term health. Instead, it is far better for your health to get a good night’s sleep and avoid too many stimulants.


If you often feel tired then maybe it is time to try and get an extra hour or two of sleep. There is no shame in this and it could make you ready to face life on a better footing. Equally, if you feel that the day is too short and that you have more to give then perhaps you could try sleeping less for a few nights, to see how it feels.

Do you think you get the right amount of sleep to be happy and successful?

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9 Responses to Do You Sleep Enough to Be Happy and Wealthy?

  1. I don’t think I get enough sleep on the nights I have to work but when I am not working I can squeeze in about 7 or 8 hours if I try. I like to be refreshed for the day so I’m not tired. I think everyone differs in terms of what they need though.
    Canadian Budget Binder recently posted..How to DIY asphalt driveway sealing: Costs and processMy Profile

    • Robert Bell says:

      I agree CBB, I can’t imagine sleeping just 4 or 5 hours every single night. It would be insane

  2. I try to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Like you, I tend to over-indulge on caffeine if I don’t get enough sleep and then I don’t feel well, get sick, etc.
    Dee @ Color Me Frugal recently posted..Adventures (and Lessons Learned!) in Buying an Out-of-State Rental PropertyMy Profile

  3. I only sleep 4-5 hours every night, I think I really have a problem in sleeping. I slept late at night and wake up early in the morning. Sometimes, I take a nap after lunch and when I do that, I think my body is recharged.
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  4. I don’t necessarily think happiness and success are intertwined. They can be, but they are not mutually dependent. I need to get more sleep. I feel so much better and happier when I do.
    femmefrugality recently posted..Making the Switch: How I’m Saving $100+ Every Month on My Cell Phone BillMy Profile

    • Robert Bell says:

      That’s a fair point FF. I was meaning the two things seperately; wealthy and happy. I think getting enough sleep affects both of them individually.

  5. weenie says:

    I’m a night owl so go to bed late but am very tired in the mornings. I usually have about 6 hours during the week, sometimes less. This is enough for me to be ‘awake’ enough for work and I still have energy for exercise a couple of times a week. At weekends, I catch up and have 7-8 hours. When I’m on holiday, I sleep more but find that this makes me even more tired, especially during the day!
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