Can’t Sleep? Election Could Be to Blame

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Hillary or Donald? It’s a question that’s causing Americans to lose sleep, and it’s even giving Canadians nightmares.

Sleep data, courtesy of wearable devices that track exercise and vital signs, shows on September 26, the evening of the first presidential debate between Clinton and Trump, Fitbit users nationwide slept an average of 4.2 minutes less than they did the Mondays before and after the debate. Fitbit says that normally their users’ sleep varies on average from one to two minutes from one Monday to another. So the San Francisco-based company believes the time uptick on debate night is a notable change.

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Eastern time zone Fitbit users in places like Florida, South Carolina and Washington, D.C. had the most profound debate night sleep deprivation. They all averaged 10 minutes less sleep on the night of the first debate. People in states like California and Texas, where the first debate ended before typical bedtimes, averaged a sleep loss of five minutes.

“Is it going to have a meaningful effect on your cognitive performance the next day? Probably not,” says Shelten Yuen, Fitbit vice president of research. But, he added, “some people are more affected than others.”

These nationwide numbers were culled from 10 million Fitbit users.

The U.S. Election is Giving Canadians nightmares

In Canada, the prospect of a Clinton or Trump presidency in the United States not only resulted in sleep loss, but it’s also causing bad dreams.

The Sleep Review Journal reports that a recent sleep survey done by novosbed.com, an online mattress brand, found that Canadians experienced a 22 percent rate of sleep loss over the stress of the American presidential race. An additional 16 percent of people reported having a nightmare or dream associated with the election.

This data was obtained after the viewing of the second U.S. presidential debate.

Participants in the study were four times more likely to have an election related sleep disturbance or dream if they watched the U.S. election debates in bed, compared to another location like a living room.

Ronke Idowu Reeves

Ronke Idowu Reeves is a writer and journalist who hails from Brooklyn, NY. Her news and entertainment stories have appeared on WABC-TV-New York, Fox News Channel, VH1, BET.com plus in Sundance Film Festival’s Sundance Daily Insider and People Magazine.