What Were Theodore Roosevelt’s Sleeping Habits?

Most people have heard about the life of Theodore Roosevelt, the former president of the United States of America. He was known for his ambition and hard work and led a full life. But, what about his sleeping habits? It turns out, he had a very particular set of sleep habits, and we’re here to break it down for you.

Theodore Roosevelt was a well-known American statesman who served as the 26th president of the United States. He is best known for his energetic personality and for being a conservationist, strengthening America’s naval military power, mediating several international disputes, and being a supporter of civil rights. He was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 for his work in negotiating peace between Russia and Japan. Learn more about the American Presidency here.

While Roosevelt was known for being a man of action, his sleeping habits also had a significant impact on his life. In this post, we’ll discuss Theodore Roosevelt’s sleeping habits and how he was so energetic all the time. If you’ve ever wondered how Theodore Roosevelt got so much done, read on to find out!

Theodore Roosevelt’s Sleeping Habits

Theodore Roosevelt is often remembered for his reputation as a “man of action” who slept very little. Although there are no definitive sleep records of the former president, historical accounts can provide insight into his sleeping habits. He usually retired late around 11pm or midnight and then woke up early by 6 or 7am the next morning. This may seem like an unhealthy amount of sleep for a person today, however during his time a healthy amount of sleep was considered to be between six to eight hours per night.

President Roosevelt was still able to function optimally despite his lack of sleep due to various other habits he followed throughout his day. To ensure he had adequate energy throughout the day, he would drink coffee immediately upon waking up in order to jumpstart his body into alertness.

Theodore Roosevelt would also regularly take naps throughout the day wherever possible in order to provide himself with enough rest for his demanding schedule. He was also very active physically throughout the day which further helped him stay energized and alert despite only getting a few hours of sleep per night.

He had an incredibly ambitious regimen. By day, he worked obsessively from sunrise to sunset, leaving little time for rest. During his years in office, he rose at dawn to read mail, reports, and newspapers before beginning his official duties.

Although Roosevelt had some breaks for meals throughout the day, he was rarely able to fully enjoy them because of the constant influx of correspondence and news. After working until sunset or later, he would dress for dinner and spend the later evening hours attending social engagements or receiving visitors.

Despite this extremely busy lifestyle, historical accounts suggest that President Roosevelt was able to sleep soundly almost anywhere and almost anytime. Reports indicated that he could take a nap in the middle of a political fight or fall asleep while reading in quiet moments.

When asked about his ability to sleep wherever he wanted, Roosevelt often credited this to military training during which he learned to doze off when convenient, but also agreed that there is nothing like a brisk walk after dinner to make one sleep.

His good friend William Allen White reported that he slept when it was convenient and awake when it was not. The biographer Edmund Morris also suggested that Theodore Roosevelt was simply so driven that he knew instinctively how much rest he can afford himself.

It implies that he had an innate ability to regulate his need for sleep and rest according to his own physical needs. He never cared about any preconceived notion of adequate sleep time.

It is also suggested that Theodore Roosevelt did not consider sleep as an enemy of productivity, rather he viewed it as something that must be done to achieve great ambitions and goals.

The Importance of Sleep for Overall Health and Well-Being

Sleep is an essential biological process that helps maintain optimal levels of health and well-being. During sleep, our bodies are able to repair and restore itself, enabling us to regulate our behavior, mood, memory and general functioning. Research has also demonstrated that getting enough quality sleep is associated with improved overall health and longevity.

An inadequate or disrupted sleep can lead to a variety of physical and mental health problems such as fatigue, difficulty concentrating and increased risk for depression. Sleep deprivation affects all aspects of our physical, emotional, and mental health. It disrupts hormones, impairs cognitive functions, and increases stress levels. All of these make us more prone to illnesses, reducing our focus and productivity levels during working hours. It has been shown that long term chronic sleep deprivation increases risks of obesity, stroke, heart disease and even premature death due to a weakened immune system. Thus, it is vital to prioritize adequate rest and sleep in order to maximize cognitive and physical wellbeing.

Strategies for Improving Sleep Habits

In today’s world, technology has become pervasive in many aspects of our lives. This includes our sleeping habits too. That’s why establishing healthy sleep routines is more important than ever before. Here are some tips for improving your sleep habits and promoting better quality sleep:

Stick To a Regular Sleep Schedule

woman sleeping soundly

Establishing a regular sleep schedule is one of the most effective ways to improve your sleep patterns. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day will help your body get into a routine, making it easier to fall asleep at night.

Create a Soothing Pre-bedtime Ritual

lady reading a book to unwind before bed

To promote relaxation before bedtime, try creating a pre-bedtime ritual. You can take a hot bath or shower, read a book in dim lighting, or journal your thoughts in a notebook. Doing something calming before bedtime will signal your body that it is time for a restful sleep.

Avoid Caffeine

a steaming mug of freshly brewed coffee

Caffeine is a stimulant that can interfere with your ability to get adequate restful sleep. Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, and energy drinks several hours before bedtime.

Cut Back on Late-night Snacks

Eating too close to bedtime can interfere with digestion and make it harder to fall asleep quickly. Try cutting back on late-night snacks at least two hours before going to bed, so your body has time to digest food properly before lying down.

Stay Away from Electronics

Different electronic devices

Keeping electronics out of your reach can help reduce distractions that might interfere with quality of sleep at night. Turn off all screens one hour before bedtime. The blue light emitted from phones, tablets, and other screens can interfere with the production of melatonin, making it harder to fall asleep quickly. Resist the urge to check emails or social media close to bedtime as it can make it harder to fall asleep quickly.

Invest in Comfortable Bedding

The different types of mattresses available on the current market

Investing in comfortable pillowcases and sheets can make a big difference when it comes to getting restful sleep at night. Invest in a mattress that is comfortable yet supportive, choose pillows made of memory foam or latex for extra comfort, and consider using weighted blankets if you struggle with insomnia or anxiety at night.

Exercise Regularly

couple exercising to stay fit and healthy 

Regular exercise helps you relax and improves your overall sleep quality. It can also help regulate your body’s natural circadian rhythm, helping you fall asleep more easily at night. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.

Utilize Technology Responsibly

person wearing a fitness tracker

You can use various smartphone apps such as FitBit and Sleep Cycle to track various metrics related to your sleeping patterns and provide personalized recommendations on how you can improve them.


Sleep is essential for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It is vital that you get enough quality sleep to maintain optimal health. Theodore Roosevelt’s sleeping habits were unique in a sense that he had a great appreciation for the biological need for sleep, yet was motivated enough to achieve great things without always getting the “ideal” amount of sleep. His restful routine, which included both naps and nights of sleep, shows us that balance is the key when it comes to getting the best possible sleep.

Roosevelt’s sleeping habits may have strayed away from the traditional idea of what constitutes proper sleep hygiene; his dedication and appreciation for making time for rest are lessons that are still applicable for improving sleep habits. Especially now, when our modern lifestyle has shifted us away from the natural circadian rhythms we originally evolved with.