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In the breakfast conversation, observed by Walter Graebner, the London representative for Time-Life, Churchill related how he was able to maintain such a rigorous schedule. “You must sleep some time between lunch and dinner, and no half-way measures. Take off your clothes and get into bed. That’s what I always do. Don’t think you will be doing less work because you sleep during the day. That’s a foolish notion held by people who have no imagination. You will be able to accomplish more. You get two days in one-well, at least one and a half, I’m sure. When the war started, I had to sleep during the day because that was the only way I could cope with my responsibilities. Later, when I became Prime Minister my burdens were, of course, even greater. Often I was obliged to work far into the night I had to see reports, take decisions and issue instructions that could not wait until the next day. And at night I’d also dictate minutes requesting information which my staff could assemble for me in the morning—and place before me when I woke up.”

Churchill continued: “But a man should sleep during the day for another reason. Sleep enables you to be at your best in the evening when you join your wife, family and friends for dinner. That is the time to be at your best—a good dinner, with good wines…champagne is very good…then some brandy—that is the great moment of the day. Man is ruler then—perhaps only for fifteen minutes, but for that time at least he is master—and the ladies must not leave the table too soon.”

3 thoughts on “Sleep”

  1. I think he was right about those daytime naps! Winston Churchill is my most unforgetable character in history. Although his father was very cruel to him as a child, Winston made up stories about ‘a wonderful father who spoiled and loved him’. The truth was too painful. Winston was a brilliant speaker, with his famous speech of.. “Never give up! Never give up! Never give up!” Upon saying only that, he sat down to shock and applause. While a guest of the Kennedy’s in the White House, Mr. Churchill was often seen stolling naked down the hallway smoking a cigar. He was a mystery, endearing, brave and a treasure. Where are the Winston Churchills of today?

  2. The truth is incontrovertible.
    Panic may resent it,
    ignorance may deride it,
    malice may distort it,
    but there it is.

    Winston Churchill

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