In contrast to what many medical experts say on how sleep can invigorate people and boost energy levels, Malaysia’s 93-year-old prime minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad says that sleep is debilitating and having less sleep is what keeps him going.
This was his reaction when media people asked him about his energy levels, he replied that his secret was “less sleep and staying active.”
“When you lie down, you fade away.” Elaborating further, Dr Mahathir said it was his belief that sleep is debilitating due to its inactivity. “If you are not active, then you become weak. When you sleep, you weaken yourself. When you do exercise, you are using your muscles more. But when you lie down, you fade away.”
According to the nonagenarian doctor, the lack of brain usage when one is exhausted can contribute to the brain’s deterioration, and he believes that it is imperative to constantly think, argue and solve.
“If you get tired and go to bed and do not think, do not conceive ideas, do not argue, you don’t find solutions to problems, if you don’t use your brains – it loses the capacity.”
The Malaysian prime minister will turn 94 on July 10.
Other world leaders who dont sleep much
Is sleeplessness the twin sibling of greatness and fame? Apparently, it is. It isn’t just Dr Mahathir who sleeps less or who doesn’t like to sleep but most of the world’s great leaders also don’t get much shut eye.
Margaret Thatcher – An element of Margaret Thatcher’s daunting reputation was how little she slept. Those close to her said that she got by on as little as four hours of sleep each night. She made her officials stay awake until two or three in the morning (which made her notorious) and then get up again at 5 am to continue working. According to her biographer, John Campbell, her “late to bed, early to rise routine” made her one of the best informed people in the room.
Winston Churchill – Just like Margaret Thatcher and especially during the war years, Winston Churchill would only sleep for four to five hours a night. However, in contrast to Thatcher, he would catch up on sleep in the afternoons with a 90-minute nap.
Donald Trump – the current president of the US credits his success as a business man to sleeping for only three to four hours per night. He claims that only sleeping for a few hours helps him to stay ahead of his competitors – he doesn’t see how sleep and success can work together after famously stating, ‘how does somebody that’s sleeping 12 and 14 hours a day compete with someone that’s sleeping for three or four?’