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The Sleeping Habits of Presidents And What We Can Learn

Posted By Tanya Slavin on Feb 6, 2019

Select A President

Being President of the United States probably sparks unconventional sleeping habits. The job description alone — leading the free world 24/7 — doesn’t exactly incite restful feelings. So how do Presidents get the shut-eye they need daily? We did some sleuthing on six past U.S. Presidents and learned that their sleeping habits were often the result of creative thinking and planning.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Barack Obama was reportedly a self-confessed night owl, often staying up to take conference calls as late as 11pm and working into the wee hours of the morning. But don’t think that being a night owl means sleeping in late. Obama was usually up by 7am and was known to hit the gym every morning. Wisely so, as daily exercise is said to promote quality sleep.

George W. Bush

George W. Bush

Known as a classic early bird, George W. Bush made sleep a priority, reportedly going to bed around 9pm in order to get nine hours of sleep every night (which meets the requirement for adults getting seven hours or more nightly). And he was said to start working bright early by 6:45am. Take note, ambitious leaders of the future: Instead of sacrificing sleep, prioritize it, like a President.

Lyndon B Johnson

Lyndon B. Johnson

Although this napper-in-chief went to bed at midnight and woke up at 6:30am daily, he compensated for this reduced sleep by taking a nap every day after lunch. A wise strategy, as research has shown that taking a nap helps boost energy and alertness, which Presidents invariably need. All those in favor of making a midday siesta federal law, say, “Aye.”

Take note, ambitious leaders of the future: Instead of sacrificing sleep, prioritize it, like a President.

John F Kennedy

John F. Kennedy

Another famous napper, JFK was known to always make time for a one- or two-hour nap in the afternoon with no phone calls or interruptions allowed, except for emergencies. While you may not be able to nap or disconnect from all communication for an hour, stepping away from your phone and social media even for a few minutes can help improve your quality of life, research shows.

William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft

Next time you nod off in the middle of a work meeting, think of President William Howard Taft, who often fell asleep during meetings, at church, and even on the golf course. Perhaps it was due to his severe obstructive sleep apnea, which prevented him from ever getting good quality sleep in addition to his struggles with sleeping hot. To combat the latter, he had a special screened sleeping porch installed on the roof of the White House to help protect him from the heat (they didn’t have air conditioning back then). A smart move, since experts suggest sleeping at a temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.

Theodore Roosevelt​

Theodore Roosevelt

The prize for being the loudest snoring president goes to Theodore Roosevelt. So loud were his snores, that once he was given a floor to himself in a Washington hospital in order not to disturb other patients. Who knew snoring was presidential?


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