Hillary Clinton has important plans for when John Kerry succeeds her as Secretary of State on Friday. She's finally going to get some sleep.
When asked if she does in fact have plans to run for president in 2016, she told ABC's Cynthia McFadden that she's "not focused" on a campaign.
"I hope I get to sleep in," she told McFadden. "It will be the first time in many years. I have no office to go to, no schedule to keep, no work to do. That will probably last a few days then I will be up and going with my new projects," she said.
A new memoir may also be on the horizon for Clinton, BuzzFeed reported, but not before she catches up "on about 20 years of sleep deprivation," she said in a press conference.
Overall, she's looking forward to leading a "normal" life for the time being. As she told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell:
I don't have any real plans to make any decisions. I'm looking forward to some very quiet time catching up on everything from sleep, to reading, to walking, with my family. I think it's hard to imagine for me what it will be like next week when I wake and have nowhere to go. Maybe I'll go back to sleep for a change!
It shouldn't be hard for Clinton to fall asleep, considering those who know her have said she can do so command. But falling asleep in anything less than 10 minutes can be a sign of a larger problem, ABC News reported, which could be the case with Clinton, since she's been hoping to get "untired" since November.
"I am so looking forward to next year," she told the New York Times then:
I just want to sleep and exercise and travel for fun. And relax. It sounds so ordinary, but I haven't done it for 20 years. I would like to see whether I can get untired. I work out and stuff, but I don't do it enough and I don't do it hard enough because I can't expend that much energy on it.
It's no surprise she's feeling more than a little sleep deprived: Clinton has had 1,700 meetings with world leaders in the past four years, according to ABC's McFadden. Political office requires a notoriously hectic schedule -- Michelle Obama, for instance, has said that she and the President are in the gym before dawn to make sure they fit a workout in every day.But skimping on sleep comes with its downsides on the job. "As I've pointed out before, sleep plays a vital role in decision-making," HuffPost editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington wrote in a blog chalking mistakes made by Mitt Romney's campaign up to lack of sleep. She explained:
According to the Harvard Medical School's Division of Sleep Medicine, lack of sleep was a "significant factor" or played a "critical role" in the nuclear accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, the wrecking of the Exxon Valdez, and the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle.
Texas Governor Rick Perry had a moment of sleep-deprivation-fueled confusion during his own presidential campaign -- the now famous "Oops."
But getting enough sleep is crucial also to a politician's -- and anyone's -- health. Skimping on sleep has been linked to a whole host of worrisome health effects, like increased risk of obesity, anxiety, stroke, heart and memory problems, among others.
Should Clinton ultimately decide to run in 2016, she might have to become a napper. Check out these other surprising sleep habits of former presidents:
As the heaviest commander-in-chief in history, it's not surprising that the 27th president suffered from sleep apnea, a disorder that causes pauses in breathing during sleep. Because of the condition, Taft was notoriously tired -- and apt to fall asleep in inopportune places, like church and on the golf course, according to the National Institutes of Health. After he left office, he lost a significant amount of weight -- and his problems sleeping disappeared.
A number of presidents have been accused of snoring -- including Obama himself -- but the 26th president is rumored to have snored so loudly he was given a floor in a Washington hospital all to himself so he wouldn't disturb other patients, according to the BBC.
Clinton is well known for sleeping just five or six hours a night, a practice he picked up while at college in Georgetown, the New York Times reported, after a professor mentioned that the most successful men need the least sleep. While there is such a thing as short sleepers, who require just a few hours of shuteye a night, they comprise only 1 to 3 percent of the population. And the 42nd president may have been doing himself a disservice, considering he needed heart surgery in his 50s, despite not being at obvious cardiovascular risk, NPR reported.
The 43rd president valued a midday nap, telling reporters in 2001 that after answering questions he was headed home to catch some shuteye, the Chicago Tribune reported. While a number of other occupants of the oval office have been rumored to enjoy a nap now and again, some people were not convinced it was how a president should be spending his time. To make light of the criticism, Bush's wife, Laura, took a jab at his sleeping habits in 2005 at a White House Correspondants dinner, saying, "I said to him the other day, George, if you really want to end tyranny in the world, you're going to have to stay up later."
In 2002, the New York Times reported that a thorough examination of the 35th president's medical records revealed he was a lot less healthy and taking many more medications than anyone had thought. Among the prescription records were barbiturates for sleep, a class of drug used to ease anxiety and control seizures, that has since been replaced by safer options for the most part, according to the Mayo Clinic. While it is important to take steps to ensure better sleep, sleeping pills aren't usually the best option. In fact, certain types have been linked to an increased risk of cancer and death.
The 41st president was known for taking the sleeping pill Halcion to combat jet lag during his overseas trips. But when the drug was linked to some frightening side effects -- including paranoia, amnesia and anxiety -- he was very forthcoming to the press about how he had stopped using it, the L.A. Times reported.