Special Report

50 Cities Getting the Least Sleep

Detailed Findings & Methodology

A number of factors can contribute to sleep deprivation. People can have a hard time falling asleep if they exercise too close to bedtime, don’t get enough physical activity, drink too much coffee or alcohol, use their phone too late, or are just too stressed.

Anyone can have trouble sleeping, but it is more prevalent among some types of people than others. The CDC found that just 54% of Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, non-Hispanic blacks, and multiracial non-Hispanics get enough sleep.

The CDC also learned that sleep loss was more prevalent among Americans who live in the Southeast and Appalachian Mountains. This may be partially explained by the high incidence of other chronic conditions like obesity and high blood pressure in these places.

Indeed, whether someone sleeps enough is often tied in with a number of other behavioral factors and health outcomes. Obesity is one of the most telling indicators of whether an adult is sleep deprived.

The National Sleep Foundation says being overweight can cause breathing-related sleep disorders, including sleep apnea. This can cause that person to be tired and less likely to exercise the next day leading to a vicious cycle of exhaustion.

Five of the ten most sleep deprived U.S. cities also rank in the top ten for obesity. Gary, Indiana and Detroit, Michigan, which report the highest and second highest shares of adults not getting enough sleep, also have the two highest obesity rates.

Tobacco use is also a leading indicator for sleep deprivation, and smoking has been shown to cause both insomnia and sleep apnea. Among the 50 cities not getting enough sleep, 47 have a higher than average rate of adults who smoke.

In order to determine the 50 cities getting the least sleep, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 500 Cities Project, which tracked chronic disease risk factors and health outcomes in the largest U.S. cities. The ranking is based on the percentage of adults age 18 and up sleeping fewer than seven hours per night. The rate of adults getting inadequate sleep and the adult obesity rate comes from the 500 Cities Project. Population figures come from the 2010 census and the poverty figures come from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey.

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