Special Report

States Getting the Most Sleep

If you’ve ridden the bus or subway to work, you’ve seen them — sleep-deprived commuters nodding off on the way to their jobs. The reasons for sleep deprivation are many. Inconsistent bedtimes, using technology late at night, shift work, long work hours, stress, and sleep apnea can all affect the duration and quality of sleep. (Here are 14 reasons you’re not getting enough sleep.)

In some states, people get more sleep than others. To determine the states getting the most and the least sleep, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the share of adults reporting fewer than seven hours of sleep on average from the 2021 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps report. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 35.2% of American adults usually get less than the recommended amount of sleep, which the CDC says is seven hours of sleep over a 24-hour period. That is an elusive goal, and not getting enough sleep brings any number of risks — lack of concentration while driving and mistakes made at work are among them. 

Sleep deprivation has also been connected to chronic conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and depression. (These are 21 things that happen to your body when you don’t get enough sleep.)

Lack of sleep becomes less of an issue with age, as just 26.3% of U.S. adults over 65 report short sleep duration, according to a survey done by the CDC in 2014.

A higher percentage of adults who report short sleep duration — less than seven hours of sleep over a 24-hour period — tend to reside in the southeastern and Midwestern U.S. and in states along the Appalachian Mountains. Those getting the most shut-eye tend to live in the Great Plains and Far West states. 

Click here to see the states getting the most and least sleep
Click here to read our detailed methodology