March 1, 2016

Maybe what explains Trump is sleep deprivation.

NYT columnist Timothy Egan talks about it. I found that column because Meade and I had, independently, been toying with that theory.

Trump has informed us that he gets very little sleep — claims not to need more. But look at his puffy eyes. Sometimes you can't even see his eyes. And often, when asked a question, he lurches as if hit with a soft, invisible punch, causing me to wonder if he's actually somehow sleeping in these intervals. That might explain the oddness of his response in that Jake Tapper interview on Sunday, when he didn't immediately respond and disown David Duke (as he had done, easily, just 2 days before). Is he able to check out while appearing awake? He's an unusual man, with special powers, and I'm theorizing that one thing he can do is weave tiny intervals of sleep into his seemingly waking hours.

Egan relies on the symptoms of sleep deprivation listed by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and his subjective opinion that Trump has them all:
His judgment is off, and almost always ill informed. He has trouble processing basic information. He imagines things. He shows a lack of concentration. He’s easily distracted.....
Egan adds:
In addition, Trump is given to sudden, inchoate bursts of anger and profanity. He creates feuds. In his speeches, he picks up on the angry voice in the mob and then amplifies it.

When I see his puffy eyes and face, I don’t see a man who will carefully weigh all the facts and consequences of an action that could affect everyone on the planet. I see an impulsive, vainly insecure person who cannot shut his mind down for a night.

88 comments:

Ron Winkleheimer said...

His judgment is off, and almost always ill informed. He has trouble processing basic information. He imagines things. He shows a lack of concentration. He’s easily distracted.....

But was somehow able to create and run a multi-billion dollar business empire and create and host a long running, successful reality television series.

Yeah, right.

Original Mike said...

"[Trump is] an unusual man, with special powers"

Right. Trump is Superman.

rastajenk said...

Just more psychobabble.

buwaya said...

This campaign, especially the way Trump runs his part of it, looks like an exhausting gauntlet.
All these people probably are not too far from significant impairment.
Maybe everyone should take a weeks vacation.

Mike Sylwester said...

I agree with this sleep-deprivation explanation.

Witness said...

Don't you think he looks tired?

AReasonableMan said...

Hard to see how this washes out.

Fabi said...

Trump ain't in no ways tarred.

[said in Hillary's fake southern pandering acccent]

Ann Althouse said...

"Right. Trump is Superman."

I think most of us have special powers... often the result of turning a deficit into a plus.

Think about yourself in this light. If you have what you think is a flaw, how have you leveraged it to your advantage or how could you flip it and do things other people can't do?

For example, maybe Ted Cruz's powers the other side of whatever it is that has people saying that no one likes him. It's liberating in some ways to take yourself out of the like-me game.

Sebastian said...

“I really don’t know what I mean” There are some things more sleep won't fix.

Amanda said...

Trump looks like a walking coronary or CVA, puffy, punchy, ruddy skin. His "doctor" said he was very healthy though, so no worries.

David said...

Perhaps he is an alien and the face is a mask. Where are the Men in Black when we need them. He is from New York you know.

David said...

Amanda is here with more unbiased informed commentary. Hi Amanda.

Amanda said...

Hi Davy!

YoungHegelian said...

So, opinion journalists are now diagnosing narcolepsy from a distance, are they.

Those guys! They really are such a multi-talented bunch of sorry-ass motherfuckers!

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I think most of us have special powers.

My wife does. She can always get a good parking space. And not by driving around forever until one opens up. She drives into a crowded parking lot just as someone close to the store is pulling out. Every. Time.

traditionalguy said...

Meade and The Professor are very alert. That was my first thought Sunday when Tapper got him cranky and confused.

Personally, that is how I act when first awake from a nap or a quick doze off during the day. The nervous system in a highly charged state that finally begins to rests, rebels at coming back up to speed until it has bottomed out.

Sabbatismos Rest is designed for us by The Creator. That means not doing anything and not thinking about any duties...zero.

Trump needs to learn from his Jewish daughter. No more Saturday night burn outs without entering your rest as God did from His.

Limited blogger said...

So the 3:00am call won't wake him. It will be a light punch to his head? We'll all sleep when we're dead.

David Begley said...

I'm no doctor but I've seen him twice in person and the first time from about ten feet. Eyes are not puffy but the skin color is a weird orange.

dreams said...

He has puffy eyes but so do I and a lot of other older people.

robother said...

Have you ever noticed how easily we come to pathologize behavior patterns that we ourselves don't share?

Anyone who drinks more than me=alcoholic.

Anyone who is always still at work when I leave=workaholic.

Anyone who has more sex than I=sexaholic.

Anyone who has higher energy than me=manic, or possibly addicted to adderall.



Limited blogger said...

Guy owns some of the best resorts and spas in the world. Has the most amazing golf courses. But he never rests; he hardly ever plays golf. Didn't think I could like the guy more. Is this article another negative?

dreams said...

"he hardly ever plays golf"

I've read that he is a great golfer and can hit the ball over 300 yards.

Limited blogger said...

The expert panel of CNN is arrayed in anticipation of the Super Tuesday results. They couldn't be more sullen. Tapper can't even gen up some outrage about the gotcha journalism he pulled on Trump. The rest of them are relegated to discussing whether Cruz, Rubio, or both of them should quit.

Limited blogger said...

Dreams - yes, he takes the game seriously. He actually is very good. But he doesn't play that much. I mean he plays a fraction of what Arnold Obama does.

Rocketeer said...

Have you ever noticed how easily we come to pathologize behavior patterns that we ourselves don't share?

Speak for yourself, you lightweight, layabout, chaste slacker.

Amanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rocketeer said...

I've read that he is a great golfer and can hit the ball over 300 yards.

Imagine how awesome he'd be if his hands weren't so ridiculously tiny.

dreams said...

Yeah, probably he doesn't get to play much.

Limited blogger said...

Trump doesn't drink, and he never did drugs. His brother died young because of addictions. Don't try to float that bullshit.

Amanda said...


"I'm no doctor but I've seen him twice in person and the first time from about ten feet. Eyes are not puffy but the skin color is a weird orange."

Could be the base makeup doesn't adequately cover the jaundice...

Steve Uhr said...

Trump as always said precisely what he wanted to say on cnn for obvious reasons. The fact that he repudiated Duke just days before only supports this. A bad earpiece? Sleepwalking? Get real.

Laslo Spatula said...

My observation / diagnosis is that Marco Rubio suffers from Gay Sublimation Syndrome.

Occasional droopy eye from muscle fatigue caused by the need for keeping up a 'straight' front: check.

Excessive thirst from suppressed salivation responses: check.

Feels most honest and free when making references to male genitalia: check.

Capitulates to 'sugar daddies': check.

A history of foam parties: check.

Cuban heeled-boots: check.

Now I am -- of course -- no Expert, but sometimes Facts are Facts. Extra research on the internet related to 'Marco Rubio' and 'cucumbers' yields nothing at this point.

I am Laslo

Limited blogger said...

CNN talking about the fine line between voter Anger and voter Dissatisfaction. Trump takes 100% of those angry, but only 95% of the dissatisfied. The 1% of voters saying they are Enthusiastic are going to Rubio.

Steve Uhr said...

Gets flustered when confronted by a bear a/k/a Christie. Check

Jason said...

I think he's hard of hearing.

Quaestor said...

Napoleon was known to do this, to be able to snatch brief naps at any convenient moment which helped him work long hours.

Mike near Seattle said...

Consider the source. Timothy Egan would say Trump looks crazy even if Trump looked exactly like Timothy Egan.

Hagar said...

Napoleon reportedly slept in 10-20 minute increments and wore out relays of secretaries with his incredible micro-managing of the French government - civil as well as military.

Hagar said...

great minds . . . .

Quaestor said...

Thomas Edison was another catnapper.

Lots of high-achievers from history had a knack for working long hours and then compensating with "opportunistic" naps.

M Jordan said...

I think there's something to this. He does seem tired. He's on an amazing journey he never intended. He is being shaped by it. I believe he has been affected quite deeply by the evangelicals who support him. Also the crowds, the working class. He seems to realize he's being called on to shoulder burdens he didn't even know existed. It is exhausting him.

I don't want to get weird on you, but Lincoln went through a similar transformation.

This election cycle is nothing short of amazing.

Meade said...

David said...
Amanda is here with more unbiased informed commentary. Hi Amanda.

Amanda said...
Hi Davy!

------------------

Gee, you two sound cheerful. Downright bubbly. Must have slept WELL!

Meade said...

"Trump doesn't drink, and he never did drugs."

By drink, you mean ethanol and by drugs, you mean illegal drugs, right?
Because, I don't think I know anyone his age who isn't taking some kind of drug.
JFK was about half his age and it turns out he was pumped up on all kinds of steroids and amphetamines which very well may have led him to making a number of fatally bad decisions.

Ron Snyder said...

Nice psychobabble Ann.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"I see an impulsive, vainly insecure person who cannot shut his mind down for a night."

So a smarter, far more energetic, Obama?

Amanda said...

Oh my gosh! Wouldn't it be ironic if it were white Republicans instead of the black and Hispanics who actually do perpetrate voter fraud? O_o

"Austin radio station flooded with reports of voting machines switching votes from Trump to Rubio"


http://www.rawstory.com/2016/03/austin-radio-station-flooded-with-reports-of-voting-machines-switching-votes-from-trump-to-rubio/

Char Char Binks said...

I can click four fingers at once, and I can crack the tendons in the back of my legs. Seriously, they don't even crack at the knees, but about four to six inches above the joint, both legs. I have yet to figure out how to capitalize on these special powers.

Amanda said...

Slept like a baby Meade.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"JFK was about half his age and it turns out he was pumped up on all kinds of steroids and amphetamines which very well may have led him to making a number of fatally bad decisions."

Don't think Trump ever had his yacht cleaved by a Japanese destroyer but what do I know?

Meade said...

I like presidents who DIDN'T have their yachts cleaved by Japanese destroyers.

Char Char Binks said...

It's "cloven", I think.

Meade said...

Sure it's not "clovenized"?

Meade said...

Clovenized bigly. That sounds right to me.

Char Char Binks said...

Clovenized asunder.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

The JFK derangement syndrome is still with us. Lt. Kennedy was later taking drugs as a result of his injuries in the Slot of the Solomons Islands recieved while challenging the Tokyo Express nightly resupply runs by Japanese Navy Cruisers and Destroyers which were the best trained night fighters ever known.

His mission was out nightly to find and defeat the Japs at Guadalcanal in the key Battle of the pacific theater. It lasted 6 months of near daily fighting 24/7 Over 4,000 US Navy sailors died in that Solomons campaign in 7 battles in 9 months, not counting PT Boats lost harassing the Jap Bigs.

So JFK was a loser in your book???

gadfly said...

(CNN)On Monday,December 15, 2015, Donald Trump released a statement by his personal physician that said he'd lost 15 pounds in the last year, takes aspirin daily and a low dose of statin and has "astonishingly excellent" lab test results and blood pressure. "If elected," Dr. Harold Bornstein wrote, "Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency."

Not what I wanted to read. However I would think that all candidates are experiencing some physical effects of long hours and many events on the always stressful campaign.

Quaestor said...

Unfortunately for history the precise story of the loss of PT109 is perhaps beyond restoration. JFK was suffering from Addison's Disease even before he entered training as a reserve officer, badly enough that it took intervention by Joseph Senior to prevent his separation from the service for reasons of health. After the war the medical and personnel records of PT109 were amended to help JFK hide his chronic health problems as "war injuries".

Michael K said...

"They couldn't be more sullen. Tapper can't even gen up some outrage about the gotcha journalism he pulled on Trump. "

Tapper got the quote and the GOP suicide squad is running with it.

Even MIchael Medved, who calls himself conservative, was going on and on about Trump and the KKK. You'd think he wore a bed sheet to his rallies.

I don;t even like the guy and get annoyed at the bias. The GOPe would rather lose than see Trump elected.

traditionalguy said...

Local Georgia news that settles things forever here about Smears by GOP that Trump loves KKK is a tweet by Herschel Walker tweet that "I have Known Donald Trump for 30 years and Donald Trump is not a racist."

Once more, this man is teflon because he is Known to be a Good Man by trusted men for 30 years, and fake suspicions and hyped McCarthyite slanders that work in Texas politics just make Cruzbots look like evil and retarded enemies without a drop of real Christian loyalty to good men in their dark viper hearts.

wildswan said...

This coverage of Trump's possible problems just shows what is meant by media bias. Hillary has definitely serious problems - concussion, thyroid, weight gain, physical weakness, "easily confused", unable to learn new technologies like fax machines, or using two cell phones or sending to two servers - one secure, the other personal. But they don't matter to the media which is a Democrat party front. When we see Hillary's obvious documented problems getting the same amount of attention as Trump's skin color then we'll know we have an unbiased media. But when we see the disparity in coverage then listening to the media is being the mark.

walter said...

So with better sleep hygiene, his condition is reversible.

walter said...

You know..not "pathological", like Carson's

wildswan said...

PS I too think Trump is tired or else adjusting to new possibilities. But I don't accept sound bites with media captions as a guide to his thinking. His speeches are not EVER as portrayed by the media.

Whereas Chelsea DID say that Republicans are racist sexist and homophobic. All Republicans. We are all Donald Trump. (Trump-as-seen-by-the-media, that is.) Even Paul Ryan is racist sexist homophobe. Mitch McConnell - racist homophobe sexist. Michael Bloomberg wanted Republican votes indicating he is a racist homophobe sexist. Rahosex = Republican. R - the scarlet letter. R is shaped somewhat like K which is only two steps from KKK. (Margaret Sanger spoke to the KKK amid great applause and then founded PPFA which is wiping out the blacks but reality means nothing. We are talking about RAHOSEX people and enjoying the good feeling which hatred and bigotry gives to a good Democrat.)

MPH said...

Wait. Are you trying to justify the david duke episode?

Meade said...

Not justify, but it might help to explain it: Trump is not right in the head.

StephenFearby said...

Interesting clinical assessment in the Times comments (originally in just one paragraph, but divided here into four:

"Popita
February 26, 2016

This is not a partisan opinion, but an attempt at a clinical assessment of Mr. Trump's mental status as reflected in his manner and content of speech and emotional functioning in public encounters that are widely accessible to everyone.

I agree with Mr. Egan that Mr, Trump appears to suffer from a clinically evident brain dysfunction that affects the content and syntax of his thoughts. However, I am inclined to advance a diagnosis of dementia. This is primarily based on the extremely small repertoire of syntax that he offers, for someone of his experience and station in life. The depth and complexity of his thoughts almost never go beyond "You are a _____" (insert, loser, or basket case, or liar, as examples from yesterday's debate).

In keeping with this pattern, when asked a question that he fears or finds too complex, he says " Not many people listen to your show anyway", again manifesting an immediate need to resort to a direct insult based on an apparent vulnerability. There is a comfabulatory aspect to his speech: the immediate lashing out and then retreating into "I love____(insert " the poorly educated", "the women", "the veterans", "the hispanics") reveal a need to effect a very simple closure to any argument.

These pervasive and repeated manifestations of comfabulation and simplistic syntax go beyond the stigmata of sleep deprivation. Whatever the origin of these profound thought and emotional deficits, they pose an extreme danger to the country and the world.

182 Recommended"

CStanley said...

Ok I'm as anti-Trump as they come, but even if there is anything to the sleep deprivation theory that analysis was ridiculous. The descriptions of Trump's behavior are wildly inaccurate and clearly represent the author's caricature of him.

As for his puffy eyes, I concur with the commenter about the correlation (sadly) with aging. Trump's problem is that he appears to do some kind of cheap spray tan (inexplicable for a billionaire with access to his own resorts with spas.) I assume one has to put goggles over the eyes or otherwise avoid that area- but I'd think that if the color was more natural it could be matched by makeup around the eyes.

gadfly said...

trad guy - So you and I agree that Donald is not a racist because he hates everyone equally - that's the way it is with people in love with themselves. So he hates David Duke and he hated MLK and all Mexicans and all Canadians and our new tariffs will get them. Hot Damn!

walter said...

Eh..Popita's "clinical assessment" seems ridiculous.
Did it occur to him/her to compare his speech pattern from years and years ago? The guy has been in the public eye for a helluva long time.
Even now, when he speaks in less formal interviews with those he's more comfortable with, his kindergarten style speech becomes more fluid.

Michael K said...

"Are you trying to justify the david duke episode?"

No need to justify it, bubby.

The psychology "assessment" is about as serious as the Goldwater "Analysis.

traditionalguy said...

Gadfly...Trump hates no one. He does believe in winning with whatever combination of his strengths and the other's weaknesses he can come up with.

Are you afraid of that skill set. Many people are afraid of his style because it promises not only to beat you, but to expose your weaknesses for all to see. It is cruel. But it is not hate. It is respect of a good opponent's strengths. And a refusal to waste time on weak opponents.

Jonathan Graehl said...

This was really funny. I'm trying to imagine the mindset of someone who thinks they've discovered a secret. Using their thoughts. Talk about a superpower!

I did like the [serious] suggestion that he might have been a little off in his not directly responding to the baited question*, because of hard-campaigning+tweeting low-sleep. Sure, super Tuesday was a big deal. Maybe Rubio can try out a new routine where he calls him a tired old man for giving his speech from bed more or less.

* then again Trump often doesn't respond to the actual question, which is probably what they were going for.

Saint Croix said...

This is another Trump thread where I'm like, "oh shit, he sounds like me! The fucking fuck fucker."

Saint Croix said...

Can I resist, for a second, the idea that sleep deprivation leads to evil? You know I love atheist science. I've been going, "I think he's a minion of Satan." But honestly, what's a better explanation of evil, sleep deprivation or minion of Satan. Unless you're going to call your scientific theory, Pol Pot Needs a Nap, I would suggest cutting the puffy-eyed, my-brain's-so-fast-I-can't-shut-it-down people a break! Grrrrrrr.

Although I read somewhere that Jeff Bezos gets eight hours of sleep a night. That's why he buys The Washington Post in order to leave it alone! The billionaire bastard is well-rested!

Saint Croix said...

And, seriously, I knew all my curse words when I was nine and getting ten hours of sleep at a time. So much for sleep deprivation leads to vulgarity! Huh, I was vulgar way before I was sleep deprived, moron! I was putting raisins up my nose just to see what might happen if you put a raisin up your nose! Sometimes you can be well-rested and still do evil!

Saint Croix said...

Also, for a good chunk of my twenties I was thinking maybe six thoughts a day. And two of those were, "time to eat" and "I want to fuck." Frankly I think I'm a little bit nicer now that my brain wakes me up in the middle of the night. Although I'm uglier now and I got to do sit-ups because God decided it's time to take away my metabolism. Probably if I worked out my body as much as my brain, I would have yoga like stillness and rock abs. But then who would be smiting Lucifer at 3 in the morning?!

Saint Croix said...

Maybe we fast-brained, puffy-eyed people are born to combat, and you slow-brained deep sleepers should take a second before you smite us all with your damn theories of witchcraft. "He's got puffy eyes! Just like Trump! Smite him too!" I go to church, damn it! Leave me alone! Just because I can't quote Bible verses from memory doesn't mean I'm not reading about it!

And I have actually considered the possibility that Donald Trump does not want anybody to see his taxes because he gave $6 billion dollars to charity, and he doesn't want anybody to know about it. And the IRS is auditing him over and over because that's an odd thing to do. "What the hell? What's he up to? We better investigate." I mean, it's possible that he's an angel of God, in secret, and the stress of all that goodness causes him to say the shittiest, meanest, ugliest things in public.

I hope he shames me with his secret charity, I really do. I still want to see his fucking taxes though.

Saint Croix said...

I have ordered a Marco Rubio bumper sticker. And I am so confident (or cheap, because my ancestors are from Scotland) that I did not pay for expedited shipping. I am not in any hurry and regular old postal service speed will be just fine. I like my mailman. But see, I know my mailman! That's where your socialist theories fall apart! I have looked into his eyes, kind of like George W. Bush looking into the eyes of Putin, and I said to myself, "I can trust this man. He will get me my bumper sticker in plenty of time for the North Carolina primary."

It is the first quarter. And we might be down 21-0, but our fight has just begun. As George W. Bush might say, back when he was a cheerleader and he gave a shit, "Go Marco! Stomp him! You can do it!"

Saint Croix said...

Now my fast brain is going back to sleep. Cause I got to work, man, to pay the bills. And, later, my taxes. Because that's what good Americans do! Unless the IRS is unfair in which case we go tea party on your ass. Just saying.

New boss is the same as the old boss.

Except for George Washington, he was kind of cool.

Unless you were black.

Shut down, fast brain, shut down.

grackle said...

About the Jake Tapper interview:

An alternate explanation -

After the interview the news cycle was all about Trump’s supposed gaffe which has now turned out to be actually beneficial to Trump. I wonder if that was Trump’s intention.

Dominate the news, create the spectacle of the MSM(and a few impulsive pols) over-reaching just before the Super Tuesday vote and reap the benefit when the voting booths open.

And over-reach they did. No one seriously believes that Trump endorses Duke or the KKK. They can’t help themselves. It’s in their DNA. Trump knows this. Trump has demonstrated over and over that he knows how to do this.

Mick said...

It's funny to watch the establishment media and political class flail in such desperation. That is what makes him stronger. People HATE the political and media class and the lawyers that have ruined EVERYTHING.

Obama's political strength came from the idiotic coalition of an uninformed populace, and the control freaks of the far left (women, the young, blacks, and educated idiots)

Trumps comes from the anger of a wide segment of the middle class that has been abused by the lawyers and control freaks of the media and political class for the last 50 years.

It will be a landslide unless the unseen hand that controls it all seeks the ultimate solution. If that happens look out.

cubanbob said...

@ Saint Croix if you earn enough money you can bet your bippy the IRS will audit you just for shits and giggles. Of course it can take a long time for them since the paperwork alone for a guy like Trump can easily be more than a foot thick; the IRS is so behind they can't accept a CD with the data or a file attachment. My taxes and returns are not even a rounding error compared to Trumps and the paperwork I have to file because of my business returns, the K-1s etc are a couple of inches thick and I'm a nobody. And yes, there are teams in the URS that go over my relatively puny returns every year so Trump is being honest about his audits if only because as Willie Sutton said about why he robbed banks "because that is where the money is".
I suspect that Trump did give a fair amount in charity but is shy on disclosure because he probably is very aggressive on deductions (might be embarrassing) and probably didn't earn as much as he leads one to believe. But the again I could be wrong.

grackle said...

I’ve seen 2 different lawyers on cable say that if Trump were their client they would advise him to not release his taxes until the IRS’s audit is over. Why? Because no lawyer would want a public army of oppositional tax experts combing through their client’s taxes before the IRS is finished with the IRS’s very thorough scrutiny. I wonder what our hostess would advise Trump to do if Trump were her client.

So it’s up to the IRS. The sooner those politically motivated assholes wrap up their idiotic, punitive annual audit of Trump the sooner the taxes get released. For this Trump supporter – when the tax returns are released and scrutinized notify me if Trump has broken some tax laws and should be indicted. Otherwise I am not interested and you can peddle your spin elsewhere.

grackle said...

About puffy eyes: I have naturally puffy eye sockets. Born with them. When I smile or laugh my eyes are crinkled almost shut. I am not sleep-deprived.

On charitable donations that might or might not be in Trump’s taxes. He’s already in one night raised more than 6 million for veteran help NGOs, quite a bit that was Trump’s own money. What the hell does Trump have to do to satisfy the opposition – donate his entire fortune to charity?

Rusty said...


The psychology "assessment" is about as serious as the Goldwater "Analysis.


I kind of viewed it as a left 'shout at the devil' kind of thing.
The left is going to lose and lose big this election cycle.
Trump is not an ideal candidate, but he's making the right noises for most of the electorate.

Johnny Sokko said...

I am sorry but this NYT column is just a bag of shit.