New York Mayor, Bill de Blasio might have delayed sleep phase disorder (DSPD). I was attracted to a recent piece in the business website, Market Watch.
Recently De Blasio was spotted wandering into his local gym mid-morning (below) making twitterati ponder as to his dedication to mayoral duties. They pointed out previous Mayor Michael Bloombergs 5am jogs or Rudy Guiliani’s 8am staff management meetings.
De Blasio has form – he is known to be late to many meetings when they are in the morning. Last December, de Blasio said a “very rough night” of little sleep kept him from arriving on time to a Wednesday morning memorial service commemorating the anniversary of Flight 587’s crash in Belle Harbor, Queens. During his election battle, de Blasio showed up for an 11.30am rally an hour late, blaming a 5am phone call that “threw off my sleep cycle”. Moroever in his previous job as a public advocate (not sure what this but sounds a bit like Obama’s past role as a “community organiser”), De Blasio “sometimes had difficulty waking up in the morning … leaving staffers waiting for hours outside his home or showing up late to morning events he had been scheduled to attend.” “I am not a morning person,” De Blasio observed “I think we should reorient our society [to] staying up late, but I don’t think that’s happening right now.”
His 2013 electoral rival, Joe Lhota (who ? wasn’t he an extra in Goodfellas) criticised his opponent “I’ve been saying over and over again that Bill de Blasio’s not prepared to be mayor,” he said, “You can’t get up in the morning? Mayors get phone calls at five o’clock in the morning. Mayors get phone calls at three o’clock. God forbid a police officer was hurt or a firefighter was hurt … being mayor is a 24-hour-a-day job.” Five in the morning, he went on, was “about the time that I get up every day, actually.”
Oliver Burkmann in his column in the Guardian in 2013 stated “Let’s set aside the irony of being lectured on punctuality by the man who used to be responsible for the G train”(ah, that’s what Lhota is famous for). What’s more interesting about Lhota’s comments is how they crystallise our era’s twin prejudices on the subject of sleep. The first is that you shouldn’t need much of it, especially if you want to be a high-achieving public figure. The second is that if you absolutely must power-down for a few hours, you should do it by going to bed early, not sleeping late. Either way, by 5am or thereabouts, you should be getting things done. ” Bloomberg used to say “I always tried to be the first one in in the morning and the last one to leave at night,” Burkmann also pointed out that another “power quality”of Bloomberg was his ability to withstand the need for toilet breaks – perhaps this is a new law of political science, small prostate = administrative efficiency.
Anyway back to de Blasio (photo below getting an alarm clock from the New York Post) – sounds like his has all the hallmarks of delayed sleep phase syndrome or at least a bad case of evening chronotype (night owl) – but just ponder what would have happened on 9/11 if de Blasio would be Mayor – Guiliani already at his management meeting or de Blasio ignoring his phone with a desperate inner plea for another 30 minutes sleep. That’s a really unfair comment but worth pondering over – more about chronotype and DSPD next blog