Americans Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep: Which States Are The Sleepiest, Most Well Rested?

Not getting enough sleep every night? You’re in good company. Turns out, a full third of American’s aren’t able to get the amount of shut-eye they need.

This lack of slumber doesn’t just make for a very groggy, grumpy country, it is actually creating a host of health problems, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared Thursday, according to NBC News.

Americans who aren’t sleeping the right amount put themselves at risk for “obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, frequent mental distress,” and death in general, said the CDC’s Dr. Wayne Giles.

“As a nation we aren’t getting enough sleep.”

According to the CDC, the findings imply that this country has “an ongoing need for public awareness and public education about sleep health.”

The CDC has determined that Americans aren’t getting sufficient sleep by reviewing surveys taken by 400,000 people, which asked how many hours of Zzzzz’s they were able to snatch regularly. The survey included other questions, which weren’t specified.

Americans aren't getting enough sleep; a breakdown by state
Photo By Dmitry Melnikov / Shutterstock

Of these people, only 65 percent claimed they slept at least seven hours nightly. The agency recommends at least that amount in people aged 18 to 60 for optimum health. The rest of the respondents probably fell asleep while taking the survey — they didn’t get nearly enough.

In an interesting side note to the results, the CDC said that people in certain states and regions, and of specific economic circumstances, had the same stats, Live Science added.

For example, Americans in the Great Plains — Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Idaho, and Montana — are sleeping plenty, and more than the paltry national average.

The most well-rested state is South Dakota. Almost two-thirds of residents in that state snooze plenty. The sleepiest state is Hawaii, where a little over half of Americans get seven hours of rest every night.

And the most exhausted region of the country? The Southeast and states along the Appalachian Mountains. Americans here — New York, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama — are getting less than average.

Previous studies have shown that these regions are very unhealthy, as well, with high rates of obesity and other chronic health problems.

Ethnicity and economic conditions also play a role. Half of blacks aren’t getting adequate Zzzzz’s every night, but two-thirds of whites and Hispanics are. Those who are unable to work (51 percent) or unemployed (60 percent) also aren’t getting sufficient sleep. Well over half of the employed are well rested.

And the most bright-eyed and bushy-tailed? The college-educated: 72 percent of them are sleeping just fine every night.

Americans aren't getting enough sleep; a breakdown by state
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No theory as to why the under-educated or unemployed aren’t getting enough slumber was put forward, but the CDC did call on employers to initiate changes that will benefit the health of their employees.

“Employers can consider adjusting work schedules to allow their workers time to get enough sleep. Employers can also educate their shift workers about how to improve.”

So what can that sleepy third of Americans do? Although nine million people take sleeping pills, none of them actually work. What does are lifestyle changes, like “going to bed at the same time each night; rising at the same time each morning; and turning off or removing televisions, computers, mobile devices from the bedroom,” Giles said.

You can also make sure not to eat large meals or consume alcohol or caffeine before bed, and create a quiet and dark environment that isn’t too hot or cold.

A recent study also found that single moms snooze far less than pretty much everyone, and women in general have a tough time falling and staying asleep, the Inquisitr previously reported.

[Image via Oleksiy Kyslenko/Shutterstock]