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All that glitters is not gold. Those who have plenty of it could tell you all about that. But they can afford to take all kinds of steps to get a good night's sleep and stay healthy.

How billionaires sleep: Sweet dreams are made of this or Breathe like a rich man

Valentina Lebová
07.Oct 2021
+ Add on Seznam.cz
7 minutes to read
Dwayne Johnson

You might think it must be great to have a ton of money, no responsibilities and spend your days lazing around. But appearances can be deceptive, because those who have everything often get off their gold-plated ass and work for their money. On top of that, their assets, excessive workload and other worries often give them sleep disorders. On the other hand, though, they can afford to create such conditions in their bedroom that you'd otherwise find only in places such as salt caves or high mountains. So, how do millionaires sleep?

Quality sleep starts with proper breathing!

Unlike Ernest Hemingway who once said:

"I love sleep. My life tends to fall apart when I'm awake ",

today's entrepreneurs feel like they’re wasting time when they're lying in their beds, letting their minds wander in the dreamland.

Executives like Apple CEO Tim Cook, who wakes up at 3:45 every morning to get ahead of the emails he receives every day, consider sleep more of a burden than a helpful practice. People like them need to work constantly to stay on top of not only their responsibilities, but also the competition on the market.

Luxusní vila na prodej - Klánovice - 465m
Luxusní vila na prodej - Klánovice - 465m, Praha 9

Some of us may have won the “genetic lottery” and can function normally on a few hours of sleep, but the fact remains that most people are useless without quality sleep.

"Eight hours a day is the limit necessary for the healthy functioning of the body. With quality sleep, we regenerate both mentally and physically, our long-term memory works better and so do our metabolic processes."

MUDr. Andrea Duchačová from the University Hospital Ústí nad Labem said for LP-Life.com .

Sleep versus career

So, is sleep worthwhile? Should people who run global businesses sacrifice sleep for productivity? Definitely not, because we all have only one health. But tell it to those whose brains work non-stop and who might find it impossible to stop the train of their thoughts. They just switch to autopilot and trudge on, not even feeling sleepy anymore, even though they are grumpy and tired.

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Sergio Marchionne
Sergio MarchionneSource: Profimedia

Looking for a foolproof method to fall asleep best is almost like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Of course, it’s possible to find it, but what are the chances that you’re going to be the lucky one?

Nevertheless, there are tips worth trying, if you wish to get acquainted with sleep.

"Learning to sleep well, sufficiently and most importantly effectively is a necessity. I know it sounds awful, 'learning to sleep.' But in our day and age, that’s what we have to do. At least at night, we need to let not just our bodies, but firstly and foremostly our minds rest. Emptying one’s head of thoughts is often quite difficult, but there are helpful techniques one can learn. Healthy sleep is an essential part of a good lifestyle. It is no less important than eating habits, sports or fostering culture,"

says sleep advisor Petr Horný for LP-Life.

Prodej luxusního bytu s terasou, Praha 8
Prodej luxusního bytu s terasou, Praha 8, Praha 8

The Sleepless Elite

Coined by the Wall Street Journal, the term "Sleepless Elite" applies to the few lucky people born with the "Thatcher gene" - a genetic mutation shared by 1-3% of the world's population that causes the affected people to require less sleep for functioning normally in their daily lives. While the rest of the world is asleep, they are relentlessly working on achieving their plans. What's more, they're completely "fresh" while doing so. Let's mention at least a few of them.

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Donald Trump
Donald TrumpSource: Profimedia

Our first example is the former president of the United States, Donald Trump. For decades, the 75-year-old "granddad" and billionaire in one had such a packed schedule that he slept only 3 to 4 hours a day. Angela Jean Ahrendts, DBE, an American businesswoman who was previously active as senior vice president of retail at Apple Inc., is no different. She once claimed that she suffered from headaches if she slept for more than 6 hours. According to her own words, she gets up at half past four every morning so as to feel as good as possible.

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Angela Jean Ahrendts
Angela Jean AhrendtsSource: Profimedia

The late former CEO of Chrysler Fiat, Sergio Marchionne, also got up at 3:30 every morning to check on European markets. His former employees claim that he invented the "eighth day" of the week. Indra Nooyi, one of the world's 100 richest women and former CEO of Pepsi Co., worked as a receptionist every day from midnight to five in the morning during her studies at Yale. Even today, though she has reached retirement age, she never sleeps more than 5 hours a day.

Burning the candle at both ends

While some of us seem to have been born as lucky as not to need any sleep, others try to "cut down" on the classic eight-hour limit, hoping their minds will eventually get used to it. This was also the case with Huffington Post founder Ariana Huffington, who tried to persuade her brain that six hours of sleep was an excellent ratio to 18-hour work sessions - until she collapsed. She has been a healthy sleep practitioner ever since.

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Arianna Huffington
Arianna HuffingtonSource: Profimedia

That CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, went about it differently. He based his morning routine on breath exercise and meditation because, as he says:

"Breathing is essential. Once you know you need to work harder than other people and you don't have that much time left to sleep, you have to learn to breathe. Not because breath can alleviate fatigue, but to relax your body, which finds itself in a stressful situation. "

Fitness coach Zdenek Dzur agrees with that, saying:

"Sleep is very important for overall physical health. When we don't sleep, our body recognizes it and our heart starts beating like a drum. It is because of a natural drop in blood sugar and shallow breathing. And that's a problem, because if we don't take deep breaths, we can easily get dizzy and pass out."

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Jack Dorsey
Jack DorseySource: Profimedia

Actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who is famous for not missing a single workout, doesn't sleep much either, but he's also a supporter of the theory that if you exercise early in the morning, proper breathing is a must:

"Every body needs a certain amount of oxygen to function. In sports, it's all the more true, especially if you’re not getting enough sleep and lifting heavy weights. You need to think about the basics before you start a workout."

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Dwayne „The Rock“ Johnson
Dwayne „The Rock“ JohnsonSource: Profimedia

But let’s go back to sleep. That’s where it all begins. Even during sleep, we have to breathe to supply our body with oxygen and rid it of carbon dioxide.

Optimal sleep mode

It appears that finding one isn’t easy. One has to try out what works for them and, with the help of modern technology, create the best possible conditions. And no, you really don't have to climb to the top of the Himalayas to get quality sleep. However, you do have to realize that even if you don't think you need to sleep, your sleep habits should never have a negative effect on a healthy and balanced lifestyle. In practice, this means that imposing an unnatural sleep schedule on your body simply makes no sense.

Instead, explore what works best for you and stick to it, so that you can get the most out of your waking hours.

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Spící žena
Spící ženaSource: Pixabay

Hypoxic devices

Sleeping in the mountains feels great, everyone knows that. But what to do when we don't have time to fly to Aspen, yet need to get a good night’s sleep? Turn to hypoxic devices. In other words, systems for normobaric modification of an atmosphere with reduced oxygen content, which can simulate the alpine environment. Staying in such an environment recharges our system and has a beneficial effect on the human body. Our organism responds with controlled hypoxia, which according to many studies has a very positive effect on health and, consequently, our performance itself. Sleep in such an environment strengthens the lungs, slows down aging, increases resistance to heart attack and refreshes the body and mind with a new dose of energy that helps us take on the next day.

One of the basic advantages is a significant improvement in the utilization of oxygen in the body. Its deficiency forces the body to work as efficiently as possible with the oxygen available to it. This triggers processes in the human organism that lead to better blood flow to the organs, an increase in the amount of active haemoglobin, an improvement in the functionality of cellular mitochondria and a thickening of the arterial capillary network. This technology, which was originally developed for training pilots and astronauts, is now used mainly by athletes, such as Czech biathletes and cyclists.

In layman's terms, the way this works is that our body gradually gets used to the fact that it has less oxygen to work with and it no longer needs more of it. The moment we find ourselves in an environment where there is more oxygen, it will have a positive effect on our performance.

"Generally speaking, we are used to having around 21% oxygen in the body on average. With a hypoxic device, our body gradually adapts to 15%. This makes the permeability of alveolar fibres increase. You could say that hypoxic devices function as aerobic training,"

said Bc. Jaroslav Beránek, SEO of a company conducting extensive research in his area, adding:

"The fact that people generally sleep poorly is well known. But better sleep is just one of the many benefits of this 'hypoxic' journey."

One way to reap the benefits of this method is to install a hypoxic system that creates a mildly hypoxic environment in each bedroom, which in practice means an ideal environment for deeper and better sleep, better regeneration and overall strengthening of the body. All you have to do is breathe. Your body gradually becomes more resilient, you’ll avoid getting ill and build up your physical strength.

The Longevity system creates an environment for sleeping at simulated altitude, which significantly increases your chances of a longer and more productive life.

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Spokojeně spící žena
Spokojeně spící ženaSource: Pixabay

60 seconds

If you want to get a night of good sleep, be efficient and healthy, breathing should be your utmost priority. You can start learning it on your own with this simple breathing exercise:

Lie down on your back, close your eyes and relax. Inhale through your nose and count to four. Hold your breath for 7 seconds and then exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds. When you try this for the first time, it might happen that you let the air out too fast. Try adjusting the intensity of your exhalation to make it last for eight whole seconds. You can easily check this by counting to eight while letting the air out.

Among the promoters of this method is Andrew Weil, a popular American physician who combines methods of alternative medicine and evidence-based medicine. He is also the author of the popular book Spontaneous Healing.

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Spící muž
Spící mužSource: Pixabay

"When you start this breathing exercise, you'll probably want to stop after two or four repetitions, but with resilience, you'll eventually work your way up to eight,"

he says.

"It may be difficult to keep this rhythm at first, but eventually you’ll find that thanks to having mastered your breath, you fall asleep faster, your sleep is much deeper, and what's more, you wake up in the morning full of energy."

If you thought wealth, sleep and breath were unrelated, now you know better! Because the richest people in the world may not be getting much sleep, but when they do lie down to rest, they use all the tricks.

Sources: sleepopolis.com, cnbc.com, forbes.com, yogajournal.com, businessinsider.com, Spontaneous Healing book, own inquiry

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