Special Report

America's Most Sleep Deprived Counties

Sleep is a key component of a healthy lifestyle. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get at least seven hours of sleep each night — and falling short of this target carries a number of risks. Still, nearly 90 million American adults are not getting enough sleep.

Americans who do not get enough sleep are at increased risk of making mistakes in their day-to-day lives — and mistakes at work or while driving can have serious consequences. Insufficient sleep is also linked to chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression.

Nationwide, 35.2% of adults are not getting enough sleep. But in some parts of the country, sleep deprivation is even more common. 

Using data from County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute joint program, 24/7 Tempo identified America’s 50 most sleep deprived counties. Counties and county equivalents are ranked by the share of adults not getting enough sleep — which ranges on this list from 45.1% up to 49.1%.

Research has shown that sleep duration is linked to both regulation of blood sugar as well as metabolic changes — and that adults who regularly sleep less than seven hours a night are at increased risk of diabetes and obesity. In the vast majority of counties 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. Here is a look at what happens to your body when you don’t get enough sleep

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 bed time. Removing electronic devices, such as TVs and computers, from the bedroom can also help improve sleep habits. Here is a list of 19 secrets to sleep better at night

Click here to see America’s most sleep deprived counties
Click here to see our detailed methodology