BILL GATES used to think this habit was lazy and ‘unnecessary’—now it’s his No. 1 key for a healthy brain

Bill Gates, once dismissive of sleep, now regards it as essential for brain health. In his podcast “Unconfuse Me with Bill Gates,” he recalls a time at Microsoft when he boasted about minimal sleep, considering it a productivity badge. Gates’ mindset shifted after his father’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, leading him to understand sleep’s critical role in preventing dementia. He emphasizes, “One of the strongest things to emerge in [the Alzheimer’s] area is the importance of good sleep.”

Research corroborates this: a Harvard Medical School study links insufficient sleep in older adults to increased dementia risk. Gates, who now sleeps at least seven hours a night, monitors his “sleep scores” to track recovery. His change highlights the growing awareness of sleep’s vital impact on health and cognitive function. As Gates and podcast guest Seth Rogen, impacted by family experiences with Alzheimer’s, discuss, prioritizing sleep is a key step in maintaining brain health.