Sleep-Deprived Americans Can't Get Any Shut-Eye


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FRIDAY, Oct. 30, 2009 ( — Whether they blame it on the kids, stress, or the lure of the Internet, most Americans feel like they’re not getting enough sleep.

And people in the eastern United States—particularly West Virginians—have it the worst, according to the first survey to take a state-by-state look at people’s perceptions of sleep—or lack of. (People in California and North Dakota seem to get the best rest.)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey found that overall, more than 1 in 10 people, or 11.1%, did not get enough sleep or rest on any night in the past 30 days. A lucky 30.7% said they got enough rest or sleep every night for the past month.

The rest fell somewhere in the middle, according to the 2008 survey of 403,981 adults.

As people got older, they tended to report better sleep. Hispanics slept better than whites or blacks, while men slept better than women. A whopping 25.8% of people who were unable to work said they had not gotten a single night’s good rest in the previous month, while 13.9% of unemployed people fell into this category, compared to 9.9% of people with jobs and 11.1% of students and homemakers.

There were big differences among states, with 19.3% of West Virginians reporting no nights of adequate rest for the past 30 days, compared to 7.4% of North Dakotans and 8% of Californians. Other bad-sleep states included Tennessee, with 14.8% having been sleep deprived for the past month; Kentucky, with 14.4%; and Oklahoma, with 14.3%.

The study suggests that people out West really may be more relaxed than Easterners: in fact, 12 of the 14 best-sleeping states were west of the Mississippi.

The authors of the CDC report suggest that the higher prevalence of obesity, hypertension, and other chronic disease in the southeastern U.S. could be a factor in why people there aren’t getting a good night’s rest.

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