I want to tell you about something I do all the time. Sometimes I do it alone, and sometimes I do it with other people. Sometimes I do it on a couch, but mostly I do it on a bed. A few times, I’ve done it in a tent, and I love doing it in cars. I’ve done it in the woods, in foreign countries, next to friends, next to strangers, and even in my grandparent’s house.
I’m talking about sleeping. What’d you think I meant, perv?
Yes, it’s true, I am a woman who sleeps. Sleeping is part of my everyday life, a necessity for my brain and other sundry organs to function. But I recently learned that I am a beast to be feared. That my penchant for sleep makes me untrustworthy—nay, dangerous. I learned this from Donald Trump.
The Republican nominee for president joined conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on his show this week to discuss his campaign—and, of course, malign his opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton. Hewitt said to Trump, “Clinton is using against you an ad called Too Dangerous. I’ve seen it. If I’ve seen it once, I’ve seen it 20 times already. Are you too dangerous to be president, Donald Trump?”
True to form, this is how Trump replied:
No, the opposite. She is. If you look at her, and you listen to the Secret Service agent that wrote the book, she’s a mess, a total mess. And she’ll do an event, and then you don’t hear from her. I think she goes home, she goes to sleep. You do, you follow her, just follow where she goes, and you know, she’ll see, she’ll do an event, she’ll make a short speech off a teleprompter, and then she goes home and goes to sleep. I tell you, she is dangerous.
If you don’t even know where to begin with that argument, you’re not alone. The idea that it’s somehow a bad thing for Hillary to go home and take a break from the circus that is this election speaks volumes about the level of respect Trump has for women, and particularly for his opponent. Also: What else did he suppose people thought she did after a long day of campaigning? Hang upside down like a bat? Zombie stare at cable news all night? Send absurd tweets into the void?
It doesn't take a political insider to recognize that the campaign life is grueling. The two candidates have been working hard on the trail for more than a year now, battling each other, earlier candidates, and the incessant hum of media coverage. From an outsider's perspective, yeah, you'd want some damn sleep at the end of the day. Taking care of oneself is a sign of personal responsibility, if anything—a quality that is pretty important for a president.
Hillary has indeed made comments in the past confirming her vicious love of sleep. As the most well-traveled Secretary of State in history, she admitted that, much to her chagrin, she did not get enough of it. “Don’t get enough of it, always want more of it," Hillary told Andrea Mitchell in a 2015 interview. Yes, Donald, your opponent has a proven track-record of being the sleep-loving, success-hungry woman you suspect she is.
Yet even something that women love is harder to come by for us than men, naturally. "Chronic insomnia is more common in women than men overall, and part of this may be due to stressors commonly faced by women," Dr. Jennifer Martin, a member of the board of directors for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and an associate professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, told Broadly in January. The site wrote that stressors "can range from small-scale domestic particulars, which often fall to women, to major issues—like sexism at work—that chip away at women's mental health over time." Nice.
But did you know that other women in the world (besides Hillary and me) value slumber?
We all know another powerful woman in her sixties who loves to sleep: Arianna Huffington. The elegantly accented media mogul has spent the last few years of her career touting her so-called “Sleep Revolution,” which she developed after collapsing from exhaustion in 2007. Through her book and speaking engagements, she encourages people to consider sleep intrinsically tied to health and wants us all to get the optimal amount of shut-eye.
"Just as we wouldn’t eat off dirty dishes, why would we settle for going through the day with anything less than the full power and potential of our brains?" Huffington asked Fast Company in an interview. And in another recent interview, with The New York Times, she even mentioned “sleep as a performance enhancer.” Scandalous!
It’s clear that Huffington has been taking her own advice. Just this week, she announced she’d be departing from her namesake Post to concentrate on her health and wellness startup, Thrive Global. She’s been building the company while helming her website, writing a book, speaking around the world, and raising two daughters. Scary shit.
Hey, maybe Donald’s right: Sleeping is dangerous…to men who want to preserve the patriarchy and are happy with the lack of women in leadership. Women performing at their full capacity is certainly threatening to his worldview, one in which women are lesser than and he is somehow elected president. A boy can dream!
So I ask you, fellow women, to arm yourselves. Arm yourselves with sleep. It's an invaluable tool for climbing to the top—without suction cups.
Marisa Kabas is a Sex + Life reporter based in New York City. She loves baseball, bunnies and bagels.