Sleeping Patterns of Very Interesting People

Though many of us work five regular days a week, and sleep on average between six and nine hours a night, there are certain public figures out there who regularly maintain irregular sleeping habits.

Whether from a choice of their own, or in many cases, reasons that are beyond their control, many figures in the media spotlight have in the past maintained irregular sleeping patterns.

Here are just four of them, both past and present.



4. Margaret Thatcher


Probably one of the most well-known and enforced irregular sleeping patterns of modern times, Margaret Thatcher during her time as Prime Minister, is said to have only slept four hours a day.

While working her officials to the bone, sometimes up until two and three in the morning, the lady PM would then retire to bed, only to waken at five, in time to listen to Farming Today on Radio 4.

Her Downing Street press secretary reported that she would only sleep four hours on weekdays, though he insisted that at weekends, it was possible that she slept just a little bit more.

Apparently, when John Major took over after her resignation, he found it difficult to operate normal hours as the civil service had gotten used to a Prime Minister who did not sleep a lot.

Major preferred the customary eight hours per night.



 3. Madonna


From one very influential person to another, though she hasn’t been the leader of a country, it could be said that in some form, Madonna has ruled the world.

After what is now five decades of critical acclaim, it may be no surprise to learn that the queen of pop is actually a sufferer of insomnia.

Her brother Christopher says that his sister treats her condition with medication, and that it is something that she has suffered from since the early years of stardom.

Madonna herself has admitted to her condition:

“I’m anal retentive. I’m a workaholic. I have insomnia. And I’m a control freak. That’s why I’m not married. Who could stand me?”

The singer, actress and film director also blames her sleepless nights on her desire for nothing but fame and fortune.



2. Lady Gaga


Another die hard of both fame and fortune is of course Lady Gaga. From five decades to roughly five years, Lady Gaga’s rise has been nothing but phenomenal in such a short period of time.

Much like Madonna however, she has also herself suffered from the same sleeping disorder.

Gaga told Ok! Magazine a very similar story to Madonna’s:

“My passion is so strong I can’t sleep – I haven’t slept for three days.

I have a very overactive mind. I’m the sort of person who’d never take medication to calm myself. It’s maddening. But I love what comes out.”

She also stated that if she was to lose her mind on the conquest for fame, then it was simply something that she, and the world, would have to accept.



1. Heath Ledger


Possibly one of the most tragic sufferers sleeping disorders is of course Heath Ledger. Like both Madonna and Lady Gaga, it was reported by his girlfriend that the actor often had trouble sleeping as he would regularly lie awake at night and even leap out of bed to write down an idea.

In an interview shortly before his death, the actor said, “Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night. I couldn’t stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going.”

His solution was of course to take prescription sleeping pills which would help soothe him to sleep.

Unfortunately, the toxology report concluded that Ledger died “as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine.”


It is also suggested that Marilyn Monroe also died from the accidental overdose of tablets (reportedly enough to kill ten people), rather than the suicide which is widely accepted as the cause of her death. 


So we’ve heard about notable people with strange sleeping patterns…but what about yourselves? Do you find it impossible to get the recommended amount of sleep?