9 tips on how to run a business on only 4 hours of sleep

When you’re running a hyper-growth startup, it’s likely you’re short on sleep, working late hours.

But you’re not alone: Even some of the world’s most successful leaders seem to function on just 4 to 5 hours of sleep.

So how do they it?

A bunch of people in the startup community dropped their two cents on Quora.

7. It's just genetic

Myriad Genetics

'That said, the reason some people can function on less sleep is basically genetic. Some 15% of people only need 6 hours of sleep a night to function due to genetics, but the vast majority of us need 8 hours plus.' -- William Ryan

'A very small percentage of the population is genetically programmed to need less sleep than average. These people are known as 'short sleepers' or 'hypo sleepers.'' -- David Rose

8. Quality of sleep matters more than the hours of sleep


'When I get high quality sleep I can live on 5-6 hours of sleep pretty much indefinitely. Lower quality sleep requires more hours. So my advice to high stress individuals is to get the highest quality sleep you can at all times and the rest will work itself out.' -- Chris Hall

'Studies discuss the length you spend in bed, but the real critical aspect is getting high quality sleep. I can get into a good sleep in a couple of minutes, and I don't ever any trouble staying asleep. I think people waste a great deal of their lives with poor quality sleep, some can stay in bed 9 or 10 hours and still not get a proper sleep.' -- Dave Haynie

9. It just doesn't work -- it's a myth

Wikimedia Commons

'Outliers always exist and it's possible some of these people do function better with less sleep...But in general, the research shows that for most people 7-8 hours is pretty much mandatory for optimal brain function.' -- Holger Maivali

'If you're only sleeping for 3-4 hours each day and not getting tired then there is something medically wrong with you. There may be no treatment for this but it's going to cause harm in the long run....The brain needs its rest, if it doesn't get it then it suffers. I would expect long term damage as a result if this is left untreated.' -- Neil McAliece

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