Entrepreneurs

Richard Branson gets 5 to 6 hours of sleep a night—here's the rest of his evening routine

Sir Richard Branson.
Cameron Costa | CNBC
Sir Richard Branson.

Many successful CEOs and billionaires have well-known morning routines, but Virgin Group founder Richard Branson sticks to a nightly one as well.

"I find structure to start and finish the day helps me to focus, and achieve the things I need to," according to his blog.

Branson says he prioritizes getting enough sleep, which for him means five to six hours per night. Here's the rest of his nighttime routine:

He uses dinner as inspiration

Successful evenings include sit-down dinners with lots of "conversation and laughter," Branson writes. "I can't tell you how many ideas have been dreamed up around the dinner table on Necker Island; some which are now driving the Virgin brand forward."

When traveling Branson likes "to invite local thought-leaders and change-makers to dinner, so that I can learn more about the social and cultural landscape of the countries in which Virgin is operating," he writes.

Other business leaders take dinner time seriously too: YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki makes an effort to be home for dinner every night, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates enjoys doing the dinner dishes.

He checks social media

Branson checks social media in the morning, but he also does it at the end of the day.

"After dinner, I like to retreat to a quiet space with a cup of tea and do a quick email and social media sweep," he writes. "Finishing the day reading your feedback on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram makes me feel very humbled."

Sometimes, if it's early enough, "I'll read for a bit or perhaps watch a documentary, to help me relax and put me in a great frame of mind to get a good night's sleep," he writes.

He unplugs

Being online at night can impact your sleep habits, so Branson makes sure to "switch off from the digital world for a while before going to sleep, so my brain can unwind," he writes.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and Thrive Global founder Arianna Huffington take time away from their phones at night too.

And, Glassdoor community expert Sarah Stoddard recommends to CNBC Make It that electronics be shut off at least 15 minutes before bed.

He makes time for sleep

For Branson, "It's in bed and lights out hopefully by 11 p.m.," he writes. I typically need five to six hours sleep to get the most out of my days."

That means Branson is operating on less shut eye than Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who says he needs about eight hours of sleep, and Bill Gates, who says he needs seven.

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