A new study by the CDC reveals where people are getting enough sleep and where they're not.
Not getting enough sleep is a problem ... and an epidemic of sleeplessness is kind of plaguing our nation. Around 30 percent of adults suffer from some form of insomnia, and it's costly on many levels. Some 10 million American rely on sleeping aids and workers with insomnia who are too tired to perform their jobs well cost the United States $63 billion in lost productivity each year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), for good health and well-being, adults from 18 to 60 years should get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Sleeping less than seven hours per night is associated with increased risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, frequent mental distress, and all-cause mortality. Sheesh! The CDC also notes that insufficient sleep impairs cognitive performance, which can increase the likelihood of motor vehicle and other transportation accidents, industrial accidents, and medical errors. Poor sleep places a surprisingly heavy burden not only on our individual health, but on society as well.
With this in mind, to better understand just how much sleep the nation is getting, the CDC conducted a survey of 444,306 adults in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Of the nearly half-million people polled, the study revealed, about 65 percent got more than seven hours a night ... meaning that 35 percent of the country is eligible for the laundry list of potential risks detailed above.
Here's how the sleep survey panned out, with the numbers representing the percentage of adults who get seven or more hours of sleep a night. (Spoiler alert: Colorado, South Dakota and Minnesota are getting their Zs; Hawaii? Not so much.)
New Hampshire: 67.5
New Jersey: 62.8
New Mexico: 68.0
New York: 61.6
North Carolina: 67.6
North Dakota: 68.2
Rhode Island: 63.3
South Carolina: 61.5
South Dakota: 71.6
West Virginia: 61.6
In this map you can visualize the breakdown by geographic region:
CDC epidemiologist and one of the authors on the study, Anne Wheaton, says that the clusters of states sharing sleep habits could have to do with regional health issues. "If you look at the state map of obesity and frequent mental distress, you'll see similar hot spots," she says. "These are things that can affect sleep." She also notes that densely populated neighborhoods might have more noise and light, which could affect sleep in those areas.
As for bucolic Hawaii? One might assume that there'd be no better place to be a good sleeper – to which Wheaton says, "I really have no theories." Maybe it's just too beautiful there to waste time sleeping?