In an “always-on” virtual age one thing it’s hard to get enough of is sleep. Friday March 18 was World Sleep Day, aimed at raising awareness of the importance of sleep as a basic human need as fundamental as breathing, eating well and getting enough exercise.

Great thinkers have had different perspectives on how much sleep you need to function. The story goes that Einstein slept 10 hours a day, 11 if he was working on something big. Edison on the other hand is claimed to have said sleep was a waste of time – four hours was enough for him. In today’s non-stop world, with so much to see, do and experience, it seems many of us have little choice but to hope Edison was right. A recent poll by The National Sleep Foundation found that 43% of Americans between the ages of 13 and 64 say they rarely or never get a good night’s sleep on weeknights.

Sleep as a science continues to discover new insights. It’s interesting territory for brands as they make room for sleep, improve lives with rest, help restore us to a healthy, natural rhythm and make tomorrow better. Pampers for example promises better rest for babies and young parents alike. Downy fabric softener – another P&G brand – has connected with the promise of ‘clean sheet day’ freshness for a week, helping to draw insomniacs and workaholics into lullaby land. More than three quarters of Americans say they are more excited about going to bed on sheets with a fresh scent.

In these high-speed on-the-go days, better health and happiness from sleep should be more about individual need and family schedule and less about institutional demand. If a power nap at midday gets you in flow, or the small hours bring out your inner Edison, bring it on.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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