The CDC recently released that more than a third of Americans aren’t getting enough sleep, and for many of us that wear the bags under our eyes on a regular basis, we know that we don’t need a government study to tell us we could use some extra rest. The interesting part of the study comes from the geographical emphasis on who’s catching the most zzzs. So which states get the most shut eye, and where do our nation’s sleep deprived live?
The Best Rested
- South Dakota – 72%
- Colorado – 72%
- Minnesota – 71%
- Nebraska – 70%
- Idaho – 69%
The Least Rested
- Michigan – 61%
- Alabama – 61%
- Maryland – 61%
- Kentucky – 60%
- Hawaii – 56%
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention based the press release on a 2014 study where random Americans were asked, “On average, how many hours of sleep do you get in a 24-hour period?” The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend that adults over the age of 18 need at least seven hours per night to promote optimal health and well being, so the CDC used this figure as their magic number.
“As a nation, we aren’t getting enough sleep,” Wayne Giles MD, director of CDC’s Division of Population Health. Getting enough sleep isn’t just about the extra yawns either. Insufficient sleep is associated with many chronic diseases and conditions, which threatens our nation’s health.
Health problems associated with poor sleep:
- Depression and other mental health issues
- Cardiovascular disease
- Accident related injury/death
How to improve your sleep habits:
Routine: Better sleepers tend to go to bed and get up at the same time each morning. The more that your sleep becomes a habit, the more rest you’ll get.
Remove Distractions: Turn off or remove television, computers, or mobile devices from the bedroom. Electronic stimulation usually only adds to unhealthy sleep habits.
Refrain from substance: Skip the caffeine or nicotine before bed. Studies have shown that these stimulants frequently cause restlessness and/or insomnia.
Make sleep comfy: A good mattress can alleviate aches and pains and make it easier to get the recommended seven hours. Furniture Row’s Denver Mattress Company, one of the nation’s largest mattress retailers, coincidentally has stores in four out of the five most rested states (South Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska, and Idaho). Check to see if there is a location near you.
Check with a physician: You may have an underlying sleep-related problem such as snoring, sleep apnea, or a mental health disorder. Stress only adds to sleep problems, so be sure to seek the help you may need.