The monumental Brexit decision, to no one's suprise, has dominated the news lately. One could foreseeably stay up for weeks reading the legions of articles and social media comments speculating on how the UK’s exit from the European Union will affect the economy, jobs, healthcare, trade, immigration and, well, everything. Yet, the reality of the Brexit vote isn’t just hitting some hard now: it appears as if people were losing sleep over the monumental vote before the results were even released.
As reported by Quartz, data from the tracker-system Jawbone indicated that Londoners lost an average of 35 minutes of sleep on June 23rd — the night of the Brexit vote. In fact, people lost sleep throughout many European cities according to the data: Jawbone-users in Frankfurt, for example, averaged 21 minutes less sleep, and Parisians averaged 17 minutes less, compared to the nights before.
So how did they lose this cumulative amount of shut-eye? The trend across the continent appears to be that people both went to bed later and woke up earlier. Although there isn’t data available for the entire UK, Londoners went to bed an average of 11 minutes later than the week before, and got up 35 minutes earlier — most likely due to the fact that the final results of the vote weren’t released until early morning.
Past research has indicated that voting can cause emotional reactions that result in both physical and psychological stress, but whether that stress affected the sleep of those awaiting the results of Brexit is unknown. What we do know is that the news of UK’s exit from the EU probably won’t be letting our Facebook feeds rest for some time.