If you’ve ever been curious about how Mozart, Darwin and Freud spent their non-waking hours, New York Magazine’s infographic compares the sleep habits of geniuses, past and present.
Inspired by Mason Currey’s book ‘Daily Rituals: How Artists Work’, it appears to debunk the myth of the sleep-deprived genius. The majority of the 27 artists and thinkers, including Dickens, Beethoven and Victor Hugo, got a full 8 hours of sleep each night and most were in bed long before midnight.
Only a couple of notable night-owls stand out, writers Gustave Flaubert and F. Scott Fitzgerald who apparently couldn’t get to sleep before 3am.
But 18th century novelist Honoré de Balzac stands out as the real outlier. Balzac, after a light meal in the afternoon, slept from around 6pm until midnight, where he proceeded to toil through the night, only resting for a nap at around 8 pm.