An image of Mount Rushmore.

Sleep Like A President

Feb 14, 2019

The POTUS has a lot of weight on their shoulders, so it would make sense for them to have healthy sleep habits. Throughout history, though, that has not always been the case. Check out some of these, um, interesting sleep habits of our presidents.

Running on empty

Abraham Lincoln was a chronic insomniac, which may come as no surprise. The stress of leading the country during the Civil War took its toll. He also never slept in the Lincoln bed. First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln bought the bed and slept in it alone.


Ronald Reagan napped at the same time every day, late afternoon. He was known to joke about napping during cabinet meetings. He also enjoyed turkey hunts since they provided the opportunity to sleep.

John F. Kennedy was known to nap right after lunch. He would pair this mid-day snooze with a bath. He also would take two barbiturates to help him sleep, probably due to his back pain. He preferred a firm mattress, while Jackie Kennedy preferred a softer mattress. Due to this, they slept in twin beds.

George W. Bush also valued a midday nap. He was also known to be in the early-to-bed camp. However, he caught some flak from the public for those choices. They were not convinced that was how a president should spend their time.

Presidential treatment

Theodore Roosevelt was known to be a snorer, but his snoring was also thunderous. It was rumored he was given a floor in a Washington hospital all to himself so that he wouldn’t disturb other patients. Poor First Lady Edith Roosevelt for dealing with that every night!

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