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Published on June 20, 2013

Famous People Who Took Naps

Napping during the day doesn’t necessarily mean you’re lazy. In fact, many famous and intelligent leaders in history napped just about every day and were arguably better because of it.

While naps certainly aren’t for everyone (and the boss might object!), there are a lot of potential benefits from taking a brief snooze during the day. In addition to reducing fatigue, naps can also make you more alert, boost your performance and improve your mood and memory.

Naps can, however, interfere with nighttime sleep and make some people feel groggy or disoriented afterward. If you’re considering taking a nap, do so if you suddenly feel tired during the day, want to make naps part of your daily routine, or if you’re working the night shift or have another planned nighttime activity.

If you love to nap or plan on building it into your daily schedule, you’ll join the likes of these famous nappers: 

  • Winston Churchill: The legendary Prime Minister of the United Kingdom believed naps helped him accomplish twice as much work each day. Although he napped during the afternoon, which is the best time of day to do so, he often spent up to two hours sleeping. If you don’t have that much time to devote to a nap, or if you plan on sleeping well through the night, a 10-30 minute nap is sufficient time for your body to refresh itself.
  • John F. Kennedy: It was a daily habit for former U.S. President JFK and wife Jackie to take post-lunch naps for one to two hours—so much so, that everyone who worked in the White House knew not to disturb the resting couple. Kennedy also practiced good sleeping hygiene and created a restful environment by making sure his room was dark and free of distractions.
  • Thomas Edison: In addition to inventing the light bulb, video camera, and the phonograph, Edison was also a closet napaholic, since he usually only slept for three to four hours a night.
  • Napoleon Bonaparte: This little French emperor with a massive amount of energy would often go days without getting a solid night of sleep, and would take frequent naps to make up for it.
  • Stonewall Jackson: During the Civil War, Jackson was known for his ability to nap anywhere—under a tree, on a porch, or even in the midst of war. In addition to long naps, he’d also take 5-minute breaks just to rest his eyes.
  • Salvador Dali: The surrealist painter believed that the secret to becoming a great artist was “slumber with a key,” which was the ultimate micro-nap. Dali would sit in a chair while holding a heavy metal key over a plate on the floor, and as soon as he fell asleep, the key would fall and wake him up. He believed it boosted creativity, thinking his best ideas came as he was just edging into sleep. It’s rumored that Albert Einstein and others also adopted this napping style.
  • Morgan Freeman: Although it hasn’t been confirmed that the actor is a habitual napper, perhaps he should consider it now. Freeman recently fell asleep on camera during a live interview – yikes! So let this be a lesson learned; a nap might be just what you need to avoid falling asleep in the middle of a client meeting.

For more information about sleep disorders, visit Crozer-Keystone’s website at http://sleepcenters.crozerkeystone.org. Crozer-Keystone offers a multidisciplinary approach to the identification and treatment of all types of adult and pediatric sleep disorders. To make an appointment, visit our website or call 1-888-SLEEP-03 (1-888-753-3703).

 

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