The habit Bill Gates and 6 other leaders have in common

An alarming number of Americans are not getting enough sleep.

But some of our country's most well-known leaders are. Writing for CNBC, Emmie Martin rounds up advice from business leaders about why they make time in their schedules for a full night of sleep.

Bill Gates, cofounder of Microsoft and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, admits to having been jealous of people who could operate on very little sleep. But more recently, he says he's come to value sleep, adding that he can't think creatively without it.

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, says he needs eight hours of sleep to feel energized and excited, as well as to avoid decision fatigue. "If you shortchange your sleep, you might get a couple of extra 'productive' hours, but that productivity might be an illusion," he says.

Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, says managers should protect their teams' work-life balance and ability to get the rest they need. She argues that organizations have a responsibility to ensure that all employees can make ends meet and stay healthy.

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Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet, says we all want to feel like we're "awake, productive, full of energy and happy to be alive." But the only way to get there is by getting the amount of sleep that your body needs, he says.

Arianna Huffington, cofounder of the Huffington Post, says her wake-up call came ten years ago, when she broke her cheekbone after collapsing from exhaustion. Now, in addition to promoting sleep through her writing, she takes a series of steps every night—like keeping her electronics far from her bed—to ensure she gets a good night's sleep.

Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna, created a wellness program at his company that pays employees to get enough sleep. Sleep, he argues, leads to bigger profits because it allows employees to make better decisions.

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Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, says that, like Bill Gates, he also aims for eight hours of sleep every night. However, he wakes up at 7:00 a.m., which may sound like sleeping in to some of his Silicon Valley peers. Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly wakes up as early as 3:45 a.m. on some mornings (Martin, CNBC, 11/9). 


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