The Oldest Man In the World Dies at 114, Leaving Behind His Sleep Secret to Longevity

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When you picture living to 100 or beyond, you might credit it to amazing genes, a nutritious diet, or daily movement. Or, you might chalk it up to luck, and avoiding brushes with death from car accidents to serious health conditions. But, this week, the oldest man in the world died at 114, and left behind his secrets for longevity, which included a surprising tip about sleep.

Just weeks before his 115th birthday, Venezuelan Juan Vicente Pérez Mora passed away. He’d held the title of oldest man for multiple years, and at the time of his death, he was the fourth oldest validated living person in the world, and the only man still alive who’d been born before 1911, CBS reports. (1)

However, it wasn’t his death, but how he lived, that’s getting him international attention for those hoping to achieve his “super-centenarian” status. The Guinness Book of World Records shares his advice: “working hard, resting on holidays, going to bed early, drinking a glass of aguardiente every day, loving God, and always carrying him in my heart.” 

Pérez Mora was on to something, even if he didn’t necessarily know that research-backed his sleep theory — in 2023, the American College of Cardiology presented new research that showed beneficial sleep habits, such as a consistent sleep schedule and getting enough sleep, are in fact linked to longevity. (2) In fact, 8 percent of deaths from any cause can be linked back to poor sleep patterns. People in the study without sleep struggles were 30 percent less likely to die for any reason, 21 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular issues, 19 percent less likely to die from cancer, and 40 percent less likely to die from other causes. Low-risk sleep habits even lengthened participants’ lives by 2.4 years for women and 4.7 years for men. 

Mayo Clinic also shares that older adults need the same amount of sleep, but they may feel more tired earlier in the evening than before, so it’s essential to adjust bedtime accordingly, which Pérez Mora seemed to have figured out. (3) People of all ages can learn more about how their sleep changes with different life stages, as well.

As for his sense of purpose that sustained him through his long life, President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela acknowledged that meaning, writing that the 114-year-old has now “transcended into eternity.” The governor of Tachira, where he lived, also weighed in on X, stating (translated from Spanish): “Our dear Juan Vicente Perez Mora, today with deep sadness and pain we say goodbye to you, to that archetype of a man from Tachira, humble, hard-working, peaceful, enthusiastic about family and tradition.”

It’s likely those early bedtimes came out of necessity, as he was just 5 when he started helping along with his nine siblings on the family farm, and taught himself to read later in his childhood after just a few months of available schooling. He had been married for six decades until his wife Ediofina del Rosario García passed in 1997, and together they had 11 children, 42 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and 12 great-great-grandchildren. At the time of his death, he was still able to, impressively, remember all of their names. 

While we at Sleepopolis know more about early bedtimes than the effects of daily aguardiente (the Spanish-distilled alcoholic spirit he loved), we aren’t against giving it a go if it means having such a long and meaningful life.

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  • 1. Tabachnick, Cara; “Oldest man in the world dies in Venezuela weeks before 115th birthday,” CBS News;; April 3, 2024.

  • 2. American College of Cardiology; “Getting Good Sleep Could Add Years to Your Life,”;; February 23, 2023.

  • 3. Bowman, Alisa; “Sleep and longevity: How quality sleep impacts your life span,” Mayo Clinic;; January 19, 2024.

Alexandra Frost

Alexandra Frost

Alexandra Frost is a Cincinnati-based freelance journalist, content marketing writer, copywriter, and editor focusing on health and wellness, parenting, real estate, business, education, and lifestyle. Away from the keyboard, Alex is also mom to her four sons under age 7, who keep things chaotic, fun, and interesting. For over a decade she has been helping publications and companies connect with readers and bring high-quality information and research to them in a relatable voice.  She has been published in the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Glamour, Shape, Today's Parent, Reader's Digest, Parents, Women's Health, and Insider.

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