By his own admission, Donald Trump doesn’t sleep much. In his 2004 book, Think Like a Billionaire, he advised readers to not “sleep any more than you have to,” estimating that he hits the hay around 1 a.m. and wakes up at 5 a.m. to read the newspaper.
That was more than 10 years ago, and Trump’s sleep schedule hasn’t changed. “I like three hours, four hours, I toss, I turn, I beep-de-beep, I want to find out what’s going on,” he said last year in Illinois. But instead of picking up a paper, he’s now more likely to indulge a new early-morning vice—off-the-cuff tweeting. (That might be the “beep-de-beep” he’s talking about.)
Some of @RealDonaldTrump’s nocturnal submissions have made the news: His slams against Megyn Kelly (3:53 a.m.), accusations that Ted Cruz committed fraud in Iowa (1:38 a.m.), the denunciation of Alicia Machado (5:30 a.m.). They’re also a series of valuable data points about a presidential candidate’s sleep cycle—a ping that, yes, Donald Trump is awake and restless.
Using Twitter data from the past year—as well as older tweets collected by trumptwitterarchive.com—I plotted the frequency of Trump’s late-night tweeting. For the purposes of this article, I’m conservatively restricting what qualifies as “late” as a tweet posted between midnight and 3:59 a.m.; anything posted later might just be a product of Trump waking up earlier than usual. Here’s a look at the past year and a half, since Trump declared his candidacy: