From Oscar winners and Nobel laureates to MVPs and gold medalists, many of the world’s most-admired men use sleep as their secret weapon. It helps them perform at their peak — on the job, or in the company of friends and family — ensuring that life is always great and never a grind. What can copying their snoozing styles do for you? The examples that follow tell the tale:
This four-time Super Bowl champion reportedly goes to bed at 8:30 p.m. every night and sleeps for at least nine hours.
- Benefit: In an interview, Brady said he follows this schedule because “I want to be the best I can be every day. I want to be the best I can be every week. I want to be the best I can be for my team-mates.”
- Tip: If 8:30 p.m. sounds too early for you, no problem. As long as it’s reasonable, the hour you start sleeping isn’t as important as going to bed at around the same time every night.
This Oscar-winning actor gets at least eight hours a night, saying less leaves him feeling less than 100 per cent. When you’re playing opposite Jennifer Lopez, Kate Hudson and Jennifer Garner, well, you want to be on your game.
- Benefit: We’re not saying McConaughey should thank a good night’s sleep for his Brazilian-model wife, Camila Alves, but it could only have helped him, right?
- Tip: On that note, the bedroom should be a sanctuary for slumber and sex. No TVs, smartphones, tablets and laptops allowed!
As a gold medal-winning Olympic rower, this Champion for the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation makes sure to get at least nine hours of sleep a night. Now, working as a corporate speaker and trainer, he goes to bed at 8 p.m. and wakes between 4 and 5 a.m.
- Benefit: As Adam says, “great sleep boosts my productivity at the office, while also helping me reach for my goal of being the best dad possible.”
- Tip: Again, when it comes to the bedroom, hot stuff should be reserved for rolling in the hay. It should be cooler than the rest of your home, about 15-18 degrees Celsius.
THE DALAI LAMA
This beloved Tibetan monk was once quoted as saying that “sleep is the best meditation,” and he certainly practices what he preaches. He typically sleeps soundly for eight or nine hours each night to stay rested, calm and relaxed.
- Benefit: Reducing stress and sleeping go hand in hand. Just look at the Dalai Lama!
- Tip: Buddhist monks have the right idea when it comes to saying no to alcohol and yes to sleep. Turns out the sedative effects of booze actually thwart a good snooze.
Canada’s two-time NBA MVP reportedly sleeps 10 hours a night, and naps for as long as two hours on game days. “Diet and sleep are probably the two biggest tools to recover — definitely something that’s hard to do when you’re traveling a lot,” he once told the New York Times.
- Benefit: While long naps may not be realistic for most guys, studies have shown that short daytime snoozes, between 20 and 30 minutes in length, boost alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with nighttime sleep.
- Tip: Evening tip-offs probably helped Nash fit in some down time before bed. Exercise makes you physically tired, which helps you sleep, but exercise right before bedtime does the opposite because it boosts your adrenaline levels.
Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two. His award-winning stories have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines like Explore, Reader’s Digest, International Traveller and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN, MSN Canada, and DontChangeMuch.ca. Visit Adam’s website for more details on his award winning work.