Sleep-Deprived Leaders Make Worse Decisions, Part 2

A closer look at Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway.

Last week, we featured a piece about the science behind Trump’s sleep deprivation, which can lead to everything from reduced impulse control to an increased chance of responding to stimuli with anger.

Apparently, the proclivity for all-nighters extends to Trump’s staff as well. On “Fox News Sunday,” Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway told anchor Chris Wallace “I haven’t slept in a month,” after a lengthy rant criticizing the media industry and defending her use of the euphemism “alternative facts.”

Multiple media-mavens called attention to Conway’s comment on Twitter, underscoring that a lack of sleep is not brag-worthy, and that sleep-deprived people — especially those in power — need rest in order to make coherent, calm and thoughtful decisions.

The science is clear — without the proper amount (think between 7–8 hours) of sleep, we make worse decisions, are less apt to trust people and have a harder time correctly recognizing emotions in others.

Or, as David Frum put it more succinctly:

While sleep-deprivation is nothing to boast about, it’s worth noting that getting a good night’s sleep is possible for everyone. Conway, and others struggling to get enough sleep, can try this easy tip to start: keep your phone (which is a portal to the outside world) outside of the bedroom at night, and power down other devices with screens an hour or so before bed.