Is sleep really the cousin of death?

Prince Youlou
2 min readJan 19, 2021

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Unlike Ernest Hemingway who said, “I like sleep. My life tends to fall apart when I’m awake”, today’s entrepreneurs can’t do anything when they’re unconscious in bed.

For entrepreneurs like Apple CEO Tim Cook, who wakes up every morning at a ridiculous 3:45 a.m. to get ahead of the 700–800 e-mails he receives every day, sleep prevents them from facing their mountainous responsibilities.

While some billionaires are genetically lucky enough to only need 3–4 hours of sleep, others force themselves to sleep less, and still others sleep 8 hours a night.

Is sleep worth it? For people who start or run global businesses, should sleep be sacrificed in the name of productivity?

There is no magic bullet or universal “best sleep habit” to follow, but by following the habits of the most successful people, you can more effectively examine the habits you might want to adopt.

Many will say that night is the time to sleep and even doctors will argue that it is, adding the argument of recovery time and cell regeneration.

But imagine for a moment that Louis Pasteur, the Wright brothers, Steve Wozniak are following these recommendations, whether they are getting rabies vaccinations, flying on airplanes or using Apple computers today.

8 hours of sleep is 1/3 of the day to sleep.

The truth is that sleep time varies according to one’s goals and ambitions. My father asks to sleep 8 hours every night. I understand, he wants to see me healthy. But at the same time, I ask myself: what’s the point of getting 8 hours of sleep and worrying about the next day when no one knows what will be done the next day.

I think we should strike while the iron is hot and let the future handle the rest. The best compass is always the relationship between work and sleep time, which is measured by results. Are you waiting for your goals? Beyond that, it’s about how your body reacts to sleep deprivation.

What I’m trying to get across is that sleep is good for the body’s recovery. And recovery means that you’ve exhausted your energy, and you need to rekindle it. So if getting a lot of sleep is going to get you moving at a high speed, do it. But from what I know, and very well illustrated by Nas in N.Y. State of Mind “Sleep is the cousin of death”.

I know it’s a topic of discussion where opinions are not always shared. However, please feel free to tell me what you think about it. Besides, I am open to the contrary opinion.

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Prince Youlou

Prince Youlou is the CEO and co-founder of Niochi, the start-up whose mission is to make tourists feel at home across Africa. He does everything with intensity.