Everyone benefits from a good night’s sleep, including presidential candidates. Yet according to a video series published by the New York Times in June 2019, many of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates admitted to not getting enough sleep in the campaign trail, or at least less than the recommended amount for American adults.
When the New York Times asked a number of presidential candidates how much sleep they get per night, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders answered “not enough.” Andrew Yang, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker said that it depends on the night, although Booker admitted that he was getting “very little” in this presidential campaign.
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said that an average night for them is about six hours. Only Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren reported getting more than the recommended seven hours. She told the New York Times that she typically sleeps as much as eight hours per night.
The optimal amount of sleep is different for each individual, but only about 3% of the population fall into the “short-sleeper” category. For most people, sleeping less than seven hours regularly can lead to serious issues. Dr. Michael Jaffee, vice chair of neurology at University of Florida, says that “Sleep deprivation can be associated with decreased attention and increased memory difficulty and executive functions such as multi-tasking and self-regulation.”