Healthcare Economy

This Is America's Most Sleep-Deprived State

Too little sleep can cause such serious problems as heart disease, high blood pressure, memory loss, depression, weight gain and loss of libido. Ironically, people who are sleep-deprived may be so tired they do not know it.

The old saying that people need eight hours of sleep a day (or a night) is largely true. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data show most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep.

Nationwide, 35.2% of adults are not getting enough sleep. Depending on the state, that share varies considerably across the country.

Using data from County Health Rankings & Roadmaps (CHR), a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute joint program, 24/7 Wall St. identified America’s most sleep-deprived state. States are ranked by the share of adults not getting enough sleep, which ranges from 29.1% to 43.2%.

Research has shown that sleep duration is linked to both regulation of blood sugar and metabolic changes, as well as that adults who regularly sleep less than seven hours a night are at increased risk of diabetes and obesity. In most states with the highest levels of sleep deprivation, rates of both diabetes and obesity are higher than the national shares of 10.5% and 29.7%, respectively.

To improve sleep habits, the CDC recommends developing a routine of going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time every day. The CDC also advises regular exercise and avoiding caffeine, large meals and alcohol before bedtime. Removing electronic devices, such as TVs and computers, from the bedroom also can help improve sleep habits.

The most sleep-deprived state is Hawaii. Here are the details:

  • Adults reporting insufficient sleep: 43.2%
  • Adults reporting poor or fair health: 15.4% (18th lowest)
  • Average number of mentally unhealthy days reported in past month: 3.4 (second lowest)
  • Adult obesity rate: 24.6% (third lowest)
  • Adults with diabetes: 11.1% (17th highest)

Methodology: To determine America’s most sleep-deprived state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the share of adults reporting fewer than seven hours of sleep on average from the CHR report. While the report is from 2021, insufficient sleep figures published in the report are from 2018.

States were ranked based on the share of adults reporting insufficient sleep. Additional information on the share of adults reporting poor or fair health, the average number of mentally unhealthy days reported in the past 30 days, adults 20 years and older who report a body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher (adult obesity rate) and the share of adults 20 years and older with diagnosed diabetes are also from the 2021 CHR.

Click here to see all of America’s most sleep-deprived states.