Critics would doubt that it’s their workload, or their sober internalization of the weight of their responsibilities, but something is keeping Israel’s Knesset members up at night: New research shows many of Israel’s parliamentarians suffer from sleep disorders.
A team of researchers from Tel Aviv’s Sheba Hospital Institute for Fatigue and Sleep Medicine conducted tests and held conversations with Knesset members on Wednesday and found that “a significant number of them suffer from insomnia and various sleep disorders,” according to Dr. Dalia Shechter, the director of the institute.
Shechter, quoted in the Maariv daily on Thursday, said that the results were to be expected, considering that work load and stress were two of the most common causes of insomnia, and that these elements “characterize the world of politics.”
The MKs were no more surprised by the results than Dr. Shechter. Yoel Hasson (Kadima) said parliamentarians “have enough reasons to lay awake at night.” He added that he had participated in the study to make sure that his sleeping disorders were not related to a more serious medical issue. “I encourage all of our citizens to make every effort to have a good night’s sleep, which is an integral part of one’s quality of life.”
Jamal Zahalke of the Arab Balad party blamed the current political situation for his lack of sleep. “When we have this government, with [Benjamin] Netanyahu as prime minister and [Avigdor] Liberman as foreign minister, who can sleep at night?”
Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman said he had found his own solution to insomnia. “I am constantly working,” said Litzman. “The best sleep I get is in my car while traveling. My driver drives, and I sleep in the back.”