Forty percent of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep at night, a Gallup study shows. That’s more than one hour down from the forties, but consistent with other Gallup polls in the 1990s and 2000s.
While the amount of sleep we need can vary so much, I reached out to four CEOs to find out about their sleep habits. How many hours do they sleep at night? Do they feel rested? Are they in better shape in the morning or at night? Also, what improves their sleep?
Here’s what they told me.
Sarah Noel Block, Tiny Marketing: “I try to exercise every day.”
“I sleep about seven hours a night and wouldn’t mind another hour or two! But I feel relatively rested. I can get up and get started as soon as I wake up without trouble.
As for my productivity, can I be an afternoon person? I thrive between 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. But if I had to choose between the two, it would be morning. My productivity level after 5 p.m. is at a hot zero.
One thing that’s greatly improved my sleep is exercise. I try to exercise every day and when I miss a day, my sleep is restless. I love working myself to complete exhaustion. THAT is the best sleep.”
— Sarah Noel Block, Founder of Tiny Marketing
Sarah Martineau, Ideta: “I sleep with an open window.”
“I sleep about seven hours a night and unfortunately, I don’t feel deeply rested when I wake up. But that’s what weekends are for!
I’m as much a morning person as a night owl but I’ll admit that the quality of my work might be better in the morning.
To improve my sleep, I avoid drinking coffee after 4 p.m and don’t drink alcohol at all. I also sleep with an open window to get fresh air all night long.
If I want to fall asleep quickly, my secret tip is to listen to audiobooks.”
— Sarah Martineau, CEO and co-founder of Ideta
Liviu Tanase, ZeroBounce: “I’m naturally more energetic in the evening.”
“On average, I get about six hours of sleep. Would I like more? Probably an extra hour would help. But since I sleep a little longer on weekends, it evens out and I usually feel rested.
Considering the teams I work with in the U.S. and Europe, I avoid thinking about my productivity being tied to the time of day. I’m productive when I need to – the time zone differences don’t allow for much room.
However, I’m naturally more energetic in the evening, so I end up doing some of my best work late at night.
The one thing that helps me sleep better is watching a movie with my wife. It’s a great way to relax. Also, a good workout boosts my energy during the day and helps me get better rest.”
— Liviu Tanase, Founder and CEO of ZeroBounce
Ronen Hamatian, Madrivo: “I’m very much a morning person.”
“I sleep about six and a half hours a night and feel very rested when I wake up. I’m very much a morning person. I wake up naturally around 5:30 a.m., have my morning routine and am at my peak in the a.m. hours.
A good friend of mine is a vascular surgeon and said he cancels surgeries if he’s been awake for more than 15 hours. I certainly also feel that I shouldn’t make important business decisions after 9 p.m. Although my decisions aren’t life/death, sleep plays a huge role in thinking clearly.
I started tracking my sleep with my Garmin watch and noticed that when I run a distance longer than 7 km, I sleep better. Also having a plan that I believe will resolve the pending issues in business and personal life helps me clear my thoughts.
It gives me peace of mind knowing I communicated well to my ‘future self’ what needs to be done when I wake up.”