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You don't have to be an early riser to be successful: 5 CEOs who wake at 10am

Samantha Menzies
Senior editor – Finance
Successful people who don’t rise until 10am. Source: Getty Images

Financially responsible and successful people don’t build their wealth by accident — or overnight. 

Becoming rich takes serious willpower and long-term vision.

But apparently it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your lay-in.

One of the most commonly believed traits of successful people is that they’re early risers who take advantage of the hours before the business day even begins.

But being ruthlessly productive doesn’t mean you have to mean commit to a structured routine and miss out on your sleep.

Here are some people who successfully manage and create while burning the midnight oil;

1. Aaron Levie, the CEO of enterprise cloud company Box, goes to sleep at 3 am and wakes up no earlier than 10 a.m. His morning routine may sound familiar regardless of chronotype. “I know this is not a best practice, but I read email,” he told business magazine Fast Company. “I’m in bed for 30 minutes swiping, replying, and deleting.” His productivity hack? Naps and lots of coffee.

2. Reddit cofounder and husband of Serena Williams, Alexis Ohanian, has similar sleeping habits and rises at 10 a.m. as well. He does, however, limit screen time as he goes to bed. “I try not to have the computer in the bedroom,” he told Fast Company. “I used to sleep with it, though. I used to wake up spooning my laptop.”

3. Here’s something you might try if you don’t keep traditional work hours. Pharrell Williams doesn’t use an alarm to wake himself up, instead relying on his body’s natural sleep habits. He broke down his schedule for Fast Company: “I do phone calls from somewhere between 10:30 a.m. and noon. I’m usually entering the studio between 12 and 1. I work from 1 or 2-ish to maybe 9 or 11 p.m. every day.”

4. This one might surprise you. Unlike his tech brethren, Mark Zuckerberg is more wolf than early bird. (Though perhaps his sleeping habits have changed more recently.) In the earlier days of Facebook, he woke up even later, but since having a daughter, Zuck has reportedly started waking up at around 8 a.m. “I was never a morning person,” he once said in a Q&A.

5. Even Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet, whose net worth is more than $84 billion, likes to get his beauty sleep. “I will usually sleep eight hours a night,” he told PBS. “I have no desire to get to work at 4 in the morning.”

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