Speed Reads

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Donald Trump might have a big problem — sleep deprivation

One month before the election in 2012, President Obama and Mitt Romney were in the throes of the final stretches of their campaigns. Both were pulling all-nighters, with the BBC writing that many candidates at such a point in their campaigns get no more than four hours of sleep for several nights in a row. While Republican frontrunner Donald Trump is over a year away from a general election, he claims to The New York Times that he's already running on four hours a night, too:

My lasting image from my travels with Trump was imprinted on me after we landed in Los Angeles late on the night of the Dallas rally. Trump, who says he regularly operates on four hours of sleep, appeared to be dragging for the first time. His face was flush, and his barreling gait had slowed as he crossed the tarmac into a waiting car. [The New York Times Magazine]

A healthy person requires eight hours of sleep a night, which has led to speculation about the effects sleep deprivation has on political candidates. For example, former President Bill Clinton (who The New York Times once reported was "famous for requiring just two or three hours of sleep a night") said on The Daily Show in 2007 that, "I do believe sleep deprivation has a lot to do with some of the edginess of Washington today," adding, "You have no idea how many Republican and Democratic members of the House and Senate are chronically sleep deprived."

Could Trump's gaffes, then, be explained away by his lack of z's? Additionally, the profile in The New York Times Magazine catches Trump in a rare moment of admitting self-doubt, suggesting that in combination with his sleep schedule, perhaps Trump isn't quite so sure of his lock on the Republican primary as he lets on. Read the entire profile in The New York Times Magazine.