Research Article| Volume 8, ISSUE 6, P571-579, December 2022

How the 2020 US Presidential election impacted sleep and its relationship to public mood and alcohol consumption

Published:October 21, 2022DOI:



      Major sociopolitical events can influence the general public's affective state and other affect-related processes, such as sleep. Here, we investigated the extent that the 2020 US presidential election impacted sleep, public mood, and alcohol consumption. We also explored the relationship between affect and sleep changes during the peak period of election stress.


      US-residing (n = 437) and non-US-residing (n = 106) participants were recruited online for participation in the study.


      A non-representative, convenience sample responded to daily assessments of their affect, sleep, and alcohol consumption during a baseline period (October 1-13, 2020) and in the days surrounding the 2020 US Election (October 30-November 12, 2020).


      Analyses determined changes within and between US and non-US participants. Election Day evoked significantly reduced sleep amount and efficiency, coupled with heightened stress, negative affect, and increased alcohol use. While US participants were significantly more impacted in a number of domains, non-US participants also reported reduced sleep and greater stress compared to baseline. Across participants, disrupted sleep on Election Night correlated with changes in emotional well-being and alcohol consumption on Election Day.


      These results suggest that major sociopolitical events can have global impacts on sleep that may interact with significant fluctuations in public mood and well-being. Further, while the largest impact is on the local population, these results suggest that the effects can extend beyond borders. These findings highlight the potential impact of future sociopolitical events on public well-being.


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