Man at His Best

6 Things We Can Learn From Obama's Late-Night Habits

Every man needs his alone time.

BY SARAH RENSE | Jul 7, 2016 | Culture


The President of the United States does, in fact, get some alone time. Most nights, Obama kicks back in the White House's Treaty Room for a few—or many—hours after supper. There, he relaxes. Kind of. It's no golf course in Hawaii. The New York Times published a fairly comprehensive rundown of Obama's nightly routine, according to the people close to him. One thing's clear: The man does not quit.

Here, we learn what we can from the routine of this self-proclaimed "night guy."

The Night Owl Work Ethic

Obama's speechwriter Cody Keenan recounted times working late into the night with the president—"It's smaller. It let's you think," he said of nighttime. For some, that's true. Research shows we are more creative when we are tired, but for a night person such as Obama, this would be during the early hours. However, night owls may be marginally smarter than morning people.


Every night, Obama snacks on seven lightly salted almonds. How weirdly specific. Seven lightly salted almonds—no more, no less—contain 43 calories, 4 grams of fat, 10 mg of sodium, and 1.5 grams of protein. So, basically nothing, besides a bit of vitamin E and magnesium. Gut bacteria is stronger when a diet is varied and always changing, but a recent study found that people with more diverse diets had larger waistlines. As this is seven almonds we're talking, it hardly matters either way.

Watching Sports

Obama keeps sports on the television in the background while he goes through his nightly briefs and papers. Watching someone else run can actually cause a small increase in a person's own heart rate, respiration, and blood flow. Almost as good as actual exercise.

He Needs More Sleep

Obama once said he goes to bed by 2 a.m. and rises by 7 a.m. This waking hour he called "reasonable." This is not "reasonable." Less than six hours of sleep is "not recommended" by the National Sleep Foundation. Getting too little sleep can cause everything from lack of alertness (important for a president) and impaired memory (also important) to depression and lower sex drive (no comment).

Brain Games

During his night hours in the Treaty Room, Obama plays Words with Friends on his iPad. These types of word games do keep the brain sharp, which may help to ward of Alzheimer's, but once you learn the skill, it doesn't work out your brain anymore. A better practice would be to graduate from game to game.


According to the story, Obama rarely drinks coffee, instead sticking to water. Water is good, of course. But coffee isn't bad—studies have linked it to cancer prevention and heart disease prevention. It is also widely accepted that a daily intake of caffeine less than 400 mg—about four cups of coffee—is healthy for adults.

There you have it: Obama is a man with some bad habits that he could improve. So, a normal man. We'll give him a pass. Especially now, with the end only six months away.

From: Esquire US.