The notion that we need eight hours of sleep per night has permeated the popular culture big time.

I find this somewhat odd, as many of the pop culture truisms stem from the most popular people and their habits, but a quick look at the inforgraphic below reveals that many notorious people have had weird sleeping habits, to say the least.

One thing to notice is that their strange sleeping patterns have not made them unproductive or unsuccessful. In fact, in many cases it seems that (at least parts of) their success and popularity might be directly linked to not sleeping eight hours per night.

Take the master surrealist Salvador Dali. When you hear that he used to fall asleep holding a key in his hand, you might scratch your head. Your disbelief will certainly grow when you find out that the purpose of said key was to drop on a metal platter in order to wake the painter up the moment he sleeps too deeply.

I, for one, always assumed that he had seen the bizarre visions he painted in his dreams, but he probably never really dreamt to begin with.

While sleep might be the realm of imagination and ideas, it is far from fully understood. With so many examples demonstrating that the human brain, creativity and productivity work in strange ways, the best thing you can do is to know your body and fulfill its needs, however uncommon they might be.

Thomas Edison and Leonardo da Vinci

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