Forget About the Rest

Thursday, March 2, 2006 - 15:38
Don't sleep much at night? You're in very good company, according to an article by Robert Klara in the November issue of U.S. Airways Attaché magazine. Klara claims that if you're an insomniac, then you might, in fact, be a genius. Light sleepers have included the likes of Sir Issac Newton, George Westinghouse, Albert Schweitzer, Florence Nightingale, and MHC's Mary Lyon.

"And Mary Lyon, crusader for women's education and founder of Mount Holyoke College, devoted so much time to study that she deliberately ate quickly and closed her eyes but four hours each night," writes Klara.

Thomas Edison wins the prize for the genius who slept the least. "Working in his laboratories, Edison would only walk home to sleep a few times a week. When he first unveiled his phonograph in 1888, he'd been at work on it continuously for days. On the first night of his marriage, he worked. When his wife hosted dinner parties, he worked," Klara writes. "And when exhaustion finally claimed him, he'd sleep at his bench or beneath it. 'We hear people talk about loss of sleep as a calamity,' Edison said. 'They better call it loss of time, vitality, and opportunity.' "

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