Thursday 18 January 2018

Katie Byrne: snooze control - beware the cult of the early riser

Features writer Katie Byrne
Features writer Katie Byrne
Katie Byrne

Katie Byrne

Donald Trump claims he got zero hours sleep the night before he arrived in Iowa for the caucus. The Republican candidate also likes to remind anyone who'll listen that he sleeps for just three to four hours a night.

This is nothing new. Presidential candidates have long bragged about how little sleep they can function on. It's a show of strength and stamina, and a quiet form of one-upmanship that whispers 'superhuman'. Campaign managers assume voters are impressed by a candidate who is more about dotting the i's than catching the z's. They forget that most reasonably-minded people don't want a chronically sleep-deprived leader running their country.

When a go-getter tells me that they get by on five hours' sleep a night, I don't think of them as a high-functioning human. On the contrary, I imagine them sleepwalking through a twilight zone of double espressos and involuntary muscle spasms.

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