Sleep Habits of Entrepreneurs: Charles Adler, Kickstarter – Somn

Sleep Habits of Entrepreneurs: Charles Adler, Kickstarter

In SomnLabs’ Sleep Habits of Entrepreneurs series, we talk with leading founders and creators to explore the role of sleep in innovation. This week, we talked with Charles Adler.

Charles co-founded Kickstarter in 2009, shaping it into the world’s largest platform funding independent creative endeavors. Since it’s inception, Kickstarter has raised over $3.5B from over 15M people for over 150,000 successful projects including computer games, music albums, technology, fashion, educational projects and full length feature films.

Today, Charles is the Founder of Lost Arts, a new experiment in the future of work that aims to drive innovation through open support of creativity.

The Basics

Name: Charles Adler
Age: 44
Avg. Caffeinated Drinks Per Day: 1.5
Avg. Naps Per Week: 0
Avg. Hours of Sleep Each Night: 6.5

Charles’ Sleep Profile

How do you define “good sleep”?

I’ve got two kids, Phoebe and Noah. And, like most parents, I’m interrupted during the night by them. So, good sleep means uninterrupted sleep.

I also feel like I slept well if I recall the fact that I had a dream. I don’t remember my dreams most of the time, but, if I know I dreamed, it signals to me that I got deep sleep.

Are you happy with your sleep?

No. I’ve always been a night owl and a morning person. So, that puts constraints on the amount of sleep I get. Plus, with kids, there’s those nightly interruptions. So, I don’t always feel completely rested when I wake up.

How do you balance sleep and work?

For me, sleep and work get in the way of each other. In the morning, I wish I could get more sleep. At night, I wish I could get more work done. When I stay up and work, it’s because I’m excited to get something done. And, I feel like it’s better to keep working because I’ll lose track of what I’m working on if I go to sleep.

What’s the last thing you do before you go to bed?

Check email, Facebook, and Twitter and then put my phone in Airplane Mode so I don’t get alerts while I’m sleeping. I’ve worked hard to get rid of all the unnecessary notifications from different apps, and it really helps during night and the day.

How do you usually to start your day?

My alarm goes off (or Noah wakes up me and my wife up), then I usually glance at my email and tend to the kids. Ideally, I’d like to wake up without an alarm at 5:00 am and go for a bike ride. When I bike in the morning, it changes my energy during the day. It creates less stress and helps my creativity.

When is your most productive time of day?

Morning is when I have a lot of mental, creative energy. I started arranging my days to conserve that time for coding, designing, and researching. And, I schedule meetings and admin work for the afternoon.

What sleep advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?

Now I, just like many others, don’t get perfect sleep. But, here are some things that help me:
1. No coffee past 11:00 am.
2. No soda ever.
3. Minimize heavy foods.
4. Exercise (I run and cycle, and just started pilates)

Learn more about Charles Adler at

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