Sleep Your Way to Success: The Unusual Bedtime Habits of the Stars

Sleep Your Way to Success: The Unusual Bedtime Habits of the Stars

Most people don’t set much store by their sleep pattern, preferring to binge watch Netflix than get to bed at a reasonable hour. And for those who want to get a good night’s rest, disorders like insomnia, snoring and sleep apnoea (which affect 1 in 4 Brits) make it impossible to get the recommended 8 hours a night — no matter how many sheep they count or how much warm milk they drink before bed.

But thankfully, it isn’t just us mere mortals who suffer sleepless nights. Despite their obvious wealth and success, many famous faces get well below the recommend amount of sleep, with some celebs going to great lengths to get a few more hours of shuteye per night.

So, to whoever said sleep equals success, it seems you were wrong. Here we explore the strange sleeping habits of the stars.

Margaret Thatcher

Small wonder Margaret Thatcher was nicknamed the ‘Iron Lady’; surviving on just four hours of sleep a night, the formidable Prime Minister gained a reputation for grumpy outbursts and uncompromising politics during her tenure as PM. According to her peers, Thatcher would stay up until 2am before rising in time for Farming Today at 5am. Her lack of sleep can’t have been much of an issue, however; she held the post longer than any other PM in the 21st century, and remains the only female Prime Minister in British history.


Forget blackout blinds. If you want a good night’s rest, do as the Real Slim Shady does — use tin foil. That’s right, US rapper Eminem reportedly sheathes his bedroom windows in foil before bed, allowing not a slither of light to wake him from his slumber. While this sleep habit might not sound all that ‘G’, Eminem says the foil helps him sleep when jumping time zones on tour. So the next time you up-sticks and head overseas, don’t forget the Bacofoil.

Mariah Carey

Unsurprisingly for one of the biggest divas in music, Mariah Carey has some bizarre sleeping habits. To preserve her vocal chords while she sleeps, she allegedly uses twenty humidifiers to create rainforest-like humidity in her bedroom, and all just so her voice doesn’t dry up. And that’s not all. According to, Carey kips for well over fifteen hours per night, and regularly cancels morning radio and TV interviews due to oversleeping. It’s a hard knock life.

Karl Lagerfeld

It’s not the amount of hours of sleep (seven, no matter what) fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld gets; it’s what he chooses to sleep in that’s so wonderfully curious. Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar in 2012, Lagerfeld revealed he likes to wear a long, full-length white shirt to bed in a material called poplin imperial. The shirt is a bespoke design crafted by Hilditch & Key, and is reportedly based on a typical 17th century nightshirt Lagerfeld saw hanging in a British museum.

Tom Cruise

For a little guy, Tom Cruise makes an awful lot of noise whilst he’s asleep. That’s according to ex-wife Katie Holmes, who revealed Cruise’s snoring problem after the couple separated. According to Holmes, Cruise would often sleep in a ‘sound-proof snoratorium’ to prevent him from waking the whole household. We’re sure Britain’s 20 million snorers would like a snoratorium of their own, but alas — Hollywood.

Winston Churchill

Another celebrated British PM with odd sleeping habits; Winston Churchill got between three and four hours of sleep per night, making up for it by taking one or two ninety-minute power naps throughout the day. According to medical experts, this is a good way to go if you want to top up your productivity levels. And it seems Churchill was a trendsetter, with several other famous faces having followed his lead, including John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and Ronald Reagan.

Michael Phelps

Celebrated swim ace Michael Phelps owes his mighty breaststroke not to a rigorous fitness regime, but to one very bizarre sleeping habit. According to one US newspaper, Phelps sleeps inside a chamber which mimics the effects of high altitude. When set at around 9,000 ft., the device forces Phelps’ body to work hard even when he’s asleep — simply by reducing the amount of oxygen in the air. Now that’s what you call dedication.

What are your weird sleeping habits, and how do you ensure a good night’s sleep? We’d love to know, so get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.

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