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Sleep Habits of 

Famous People

Surrealist painter Salvador Dali created very dream-like works of art. According to legend, he claimed to be fully refreshed by a very odd, brief kind of nap. The story goes that he would put a metal pan on the floor, and doze off in his chair, holding a metal spoon above the pan. When he fell asleep, he would drop the spoon, and then wake up an instant later, when the spoon hit the pan with a clatter. Do you think such a short nap (scientists would call it a "micro-sleep") could possibly be refreshing? Try it!

A French mathematician named Abraham de Moivre reportedly slept about 20 hours a day in his old age! But it is much more common to hear about scientists who are "short sleepers" than ones who are "long sleepers" like Moivre.

For instance, rivals Thomas Alva Edison and Nikola Tesla both came up with many inventions. They both slept very little (although reports suggest that they took naps and/or fell into micro-sleeps fairly often.) Considering they both worked closely with electricity, they are lucky they were not hurt. Sleep deprivation can lead to dangerous accidents!

Busy world leaders (such as Winston Churchill , John F. Kennedy , and Napolean Bonaparte ) may get little sleep. (Considering the physical and mental effects of sleep deprivation and Jet Lag, what do you think might be the consequences for current world leaders?) 

Fairy tales and folklore often tell about people who sleep for incredibly long periods of time, such as Sleeping Beauty and Rip Van Winkle . It is possible that these stories were actually inspired by real people (though wildly exaggerated). There is a rare sleep disorder called Kleine-Levin Syndrome that induces lengthy sleeping sometimes for days or weeks at a time.

Click the links below  to go to other web sites to learn more about the famous people mentioned in this article:

Salvador Dali

Abraham de Moivre

Thomas Alva Edison

Nikola Tesla

Winston Churchill

John F. Kennedy

Napolean Bonaparte

Click the link below to go to another web site to read about busy, successful people who take naps to stay alert.

Click the links below to go to another web site to read about topics mentioned in this article:

Sleeping Beauty

Rip Van Winkle

Kleine-Levin Syndrome