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Lose sleep this week because of the election? You’re not alone

Has sleep been elusive for you this week? You are not alone, according to Fitbit’s latest data.
Has sleep been elusive for you this week? You are not alone, according to Fitbit’s latest data. The Associated Press

Feeling tired after Tuesday? Join the club.

Data released Friday by activity device tracker Fitbit show users across the nation lost an average of 30 minutes of sleep Tuesday night into Wednesday morning compared with the prior two Tuesdays.

Washington Fitbit device users lost 19 minutes of sleep, among the bottom 10 states in sleep loss for election night. The company aggregated data from 10 million device wearers nationwide.

“Typically the U.S. average sleep duration varies by one to two minutes per weekday night, so a decrease in sleep duration of more than a few minutes shows a statistical change,” said Shelten Yuen, Fitbit vice president of research, in a news release.

To put this in perspective, Fitbit users in the United States lost about four minutes of sleep on the night of the first presidential debate in September, and slept eight minutes less the night of Super Bowl 50, the company said.

People use Fitbits and other fitness trackers to record their exercise throughout the day, heart rate, and now, sleep. Some versions of Fitbits can tell when people are sleeping based on movement. When you haven’t moved in over an hour, algorithms assume that sleep has begun, the website says.

Donald Trump’s presidential election victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton kept many across the nation up until the wee hours of the night. Trump gave his victory speech at about 3 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday, and his 10-year-old son Barron seemed to struggle to stay awake onstage.

Like Barron, Americans in East Coast states lost the most sleep.

Fitbit users in Washington, D.C., lost the most sleep of any area — nearly 50 minutes. Hawaii and Alaska lost the least sleep, nearly 17 minutes and about 16 minutes respectively, likely because residents there knew the outcome of the election with enough time to make it to bed at a reasonable hour.

Those living in blue states lost a wee bit more sleep than red states, but the difference was negligible — 31.5 minutes less sleep to 31.1 minutes, according to Fitbit data.

Overall, Fitbit users went to bed 16 minutes later and woke up 21 minutes earlier than the prior two Tuesday nights.

The National Sleep Foundation says people should stick to a regular sleep schedule for a restful night’s sleep — something many definitely didn’t do on the eve of a historic election.

Consider starting a relaxing bedtime ritual, such as yoga or reading a book. Change the temperature and lighting of your room. The bedroom should be cool, the Sleep Foundation says, between 60 and 67 degrees.

Kate Martin: 253-597-8542, @KateReports

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