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8 Famous Nappers in History

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Who says naps are for infants and kindergartners? Studies show that mid-day naps can improve your mood and boost productivity.

If you're one of the many who wish they could step away from the desk and slip under the sheets, you're in good company. Some of history's greatest minds have shared your sentiment and used naps as a way to help them get their jobs done. Here's a list of our favorite 8 famous nappers:

  1. Margaret Thatcher. Often referred to as “The Iron Lady," the renowned British prime minister was known for working 20-hour days serving her country. To ensure she was running on all cylinders, Thatcher would take short snooze breaks during the day to make up for her less than restful nights.
  2. Thomas Edison. Similar to Thatcher, Edison slept only three to four hours a night. Publicly, he went as far as to imply sleeping any more than that as a sign of laziness. But, the famous inventor was less vocal about about the fact that he often napped for two to three hours at a time during the day. Kind of ironic for the guy who invented the light bulb and forever altered our circadian rhythm.
  3. Salvador Dali. Perhaps the most innovative of our famous nappers, quirky artist Salvador Dali took afternoon naps that were designed to last no longer than a single second. To perfect his “micro nap," Dali would sit in a chair with a hefty metal key pressed between his thumb and forefinger. The moment he fell asleep, the key would fall from his fingers and awaken him. Dali believed the short nap “revivified" both his mind and body.
  4. John F. Kennedy. The beloved President of the United States was known for taking his lunch in bed before settling down for a mid-day nap, which typically lasted between one to two hours. It is also said that his wife, Jackie Kennedy, would join him for the nap every day, often clearing her schedule or leaving engagements early to accommodate.
  5. Eleanor Roosevelt. Speaking of first ladies, Eleanor Roosevelt was a famous napper in her own right. She would often take short naps prior to public speaking engagements to boost her energy and reinvigorate her mind.
  6. Winston Churchill. After an early afternoon game of cards with his wife, Clementine, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill would climb into bed for 2-hour-long naps every day. Many say that Churchill chose to work third shift, starting his most important work around 11 p.m. and continuing well into the night and early morning. Churchill even kept a bed in the Houses of Parliament to make sure he never missed his daily nap.
  7. Leonard da Vinci. Like many of our other famous nappers, da Vinci had a very irregular sleeping pattern — taking naps throughout the day and sleeping less hours at night. The Renaissance man would take 15-minute naps every four hours.
  8. Albert Einstein. What if you could think like Einstein? Your IQ may not be off the charts, but when it comes to naps, you too can be a genius. Similar to Dali, Einstein believed in the power of the micro nap. He would sit in his chair and hold a pencil or a spoon as he dozed off. Unlike most daytime nappers, though, Einstein got plenty of rest at night as well, regularly sleeping for at least 10 hours.

At Mattress Firm, napping isn't a scam! In fact, we encourage Mattress Firm employees at our BEDQuarters in Houston to utilize our nap rooms. So, the next time your boss brings you in for a performance review or questions your productivity, cite some of these famous nappers and their nap-taking prowess. Need a longer list? Add in Presidents Ronald Reagan, Lyndon B. Johnson and Bill Clinton, Napoleon Bonaparte, Aristotle and Benjamin Franklin.

Nap happy!

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