Famous Insomniac


Abraham Lincoln used to treat his insomnia by taking long walks in the middle of the night.








Painter Vincent Van Gogh treated his insomnia by dousing his mattress and pillow with camphor, a relative substance of turpentine. Scholars believe that the camphor gradually poisoned him and was one of the factors that pushed him to suicide








Politician Margaret Thatcher famously survived her long tenure as British prime minister on only four hours of sleep a night. Her motto: “Sleep is for wimps.”








Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte built an empire, relying only on a few hours of sleep a night. The so–called “Little Corporal” was suffering from insomnia so severely and so frequently, that it was considered unusual for him to sleep for more than four hours a night. Nevertheless, he did not resort to any kind of remedy, but learned to live with this condition.






French novelist Alexandre Dumas, père (1802 - 1870), circa 1860. He is best known for his works 'The Count of Monte Cristo' and 'The Three Musketeers'. By F. T. Stuart. (Photo by Kean Collection/Getty Images)

Alexandre Dumas the famous writer suffered from terrible insomnia, and after having tried practically all existing remedies, he got the advice from some well–known doctor to get out of bed whenever he wasn’t feeling sleepy at all. As a result, he began taking late–night strolls and finally managed to start sleeping through the night






kafkaFranz Kafka kept a detailed diary, in which he described all his sleep problems. For example, on October 2, 1911, he wrote: “Sleepless night. The third in a row. I fall asleep soundly, but after an hour I wake up, feeling as if I had laid my head in the wrong hole.”






Theodore-RooseveltTheodore Roosevelt. The main cure followed by the president of the USA in his attempt to deal with insomnia was adding a shot of cognac in a glass of milk.








Amy Lowell, poet. In a hotel, Lowell reserved five rooms – one to sleep in, and four empty rooms above, below, and on either side, in order to ensure absolute silence.








wc-fieldsC. Fields, actor. On his worst insomnia nights, he only managed to fall asleep under a beach umbrella sprinkled by a garden hose.