How to Modify Your Sleep Schedule for Maximum Efficiency, by Caterina Fake

Photograph by Jake Stangel for Bloomberg Businessweek

Some people get up at 5 a.m. and work for three hours before they go into the office. That’s been shown to be a constructive way of operating. I can’t—my IQ drops 30 percent to 40 percent in the early morning. But I had to adapt five years ago when my daughter was born. She’s a lark, like most children, waking up at 6 or 7 a.m.

So I worked it out like this: I go to bed really early, around 9 or 10 p.m. I wake in the middle of the night and work for two or three hours. Then I go back to bed and sleep until my daughter wakes up. So I get two or three hours of sleep late at night that are completely uninterrupted.

It’s important to sleep. There’s a lot of bravura in business about how little people sleep. I don’t subscribe to that. I’m a big believer in getting eight hours every night, if I can. I just do it in shifts.

Fake is a co-founder of Flickr and founder and CEO of Findery. As told to Devin Leonard 

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