In general Bill Gates is a busy man. He may no longer be the CEO of Microsoft, but he has his blog, his foundations, and all sorts of activities and responsibilities to attend to every day. However, that doesn’t mean he sacrifices his sleep or that he’s one of those who say sleep is for old people.
In fact, Gates, as well as many experts, know that adequate and quality sleep is one of the most important keys to well-being, health and even success. Gates spent years of his life looking for ways to do this. (Read also: Bill Gates’ morning routine promises more success and less stress)
Too little sleep can have dire consequences
When he founded Microsoft, Bill Gates was a workaholic. He even went so far as to work nights to meet deadlines and complete certain projects. One day he came across the book "Why We Sleep" by Matthew Walker and it changed his perspective. He realized that too little sleep can have terrible consequences.
In his blog, "GatesNotes," Bill Gates wrote, "I realize that my late nights combined with barely getting eight hours of sleep had a big impact. The book was recommended to me by my daughter Jenn and John Doerr. Walker, director of UC Berkeley's Center for Human Sleep Science, explains how lack of sleep undermines creativity, problem solving, decision making, learning, memory, heart health, brain health, mental health, emotional well-being, the immune system and even your life."
After he finished the book, he began to develop a good sleep hygiene. He made sure he got enough hours and a better quality of sleep each night so he could wake up the next day more energized and refreshed.
What does Bill Gates to sleep better?
Good sleep is important and Bill Gates knows it.
Gates once said he has a trick that helps him relax before bed: He washes the dishes, a task that doesn’t require much thought, which helps him wind down, relieve stress and prepare for a good night’s sleep. It doesn’t mean you have to do the same thing, but it’s about finding a similar activity that helps you relax. He also lists four important points he has learned that everyone can use.
4 tips from Bill Gates to sleep better
Gates says this kind of blue light is very bad for sleep (Harvard says blue light from cell phones and tablets is especially bad, so you may as well put your devices in a drawer). In addition, leaving lights on during the night can interfere with melatonin production, which the body naturally produces in order to sleep.
This is a tip that all the experts recommend and that you can find everywhere on the Internet. Gates recommends adjusting the temperature in your room to keep it cool at bedtime (or you can open a window, use fewer blankets, and switch to lightweight pajamas). "To successfully induce sleep . your core temperature should drop by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius," Walker. (Also interesting: Sleep better: The cold keeps you awake? 6 Tips to Sleep Better in the Winter)
It’s okay to have a glass of wine with dinner. But be aware that alcohol consumption affects sleep quality, as it prevents you from reaching the REM cycle or deep sleep. This means that you are less awake and less efficient the next day.
"If you have the opportunity to take a short afternoon nap, as our ancestors did and as is still common in some Mediterranean and South American cultures, you should do so (but no later than 3 p.m.). It will likely improve your creativity as well as your heart health and extend your life," Gates says. The Mayo Clinic recommends taking a 10-20 minute nap, but no later than 3 p.m., as this can affect sleep patterns.