Sacrificing Sleep For Productivity Gave ‘Brain Pain,’ Says Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who last year described himself as “fairly nocturnal,” is known for his history of working through the night and even sleeping beneath his desk to meet deadlines. Recently, however, he revealed that he is endeavoring to secure at least six hours of sleep every night.

In an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, Musk said, “I’ve tried to sleep less, but even though I’m awake more hours, I get less done. And the brain pain level is bad if I get less than six hours of sleep per night.”

Musk said he often works seven days per week and only takes “two or three” truly workless vacation days yearly. However, he said he doesn’t expect his employees to model that behavior. 

“I’m also not saying [people] shouldn’t take vacations,” Musk added. “I work seven days a week, but I’m not expecting others to do that.”

Also Read: Musk Criticizes ChatGPT For Being ‘Woke,’ Now OpenAI Co-founder Admits Startup ‘Made A Mistake’

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the ideal amount of sleep varies from person to person, but most adults ages 18 to 60 should sleep at least seven hours a night. Other research indicates that working for more than 55 hours per week can increase the chances of developing heart disease and stroke. 

Musk is not alone in his sleepless pursuit of success.

Famous light sleepers include Nikola Tesla, who allegedly went on as little as two hours of sleep while working on an invention, and Thomas Edison, who supposedly believed more than five hours of sleep was unproductive and indulgent. In addition, Benjamin Franklin allegedly restricted his sleep to less than four hours, while Thomas Jefferson allegedly slept only around two hours per day. Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook is also famously known to rise at 3:45 a.m. to get a head start on the 700 to 800 emails he receives daily.

Now Read: Twitter’s New CEO Once Tried To Convince Elon Musk To Stop Tweeting After 3 A.M.

Photo: NASA HQ PHOTO via flickr

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