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Sleep Statistics Across America

With the remarkable interest that sleep has generated in the United States, you’d think that we would be getting a whole lot more of it than we actually are, but the statistics show the exact opposite. America is a remarkably sleep-deprived nation, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been ringing the alarm bell about it for a while. The organization has called insufficient sleep a public health epidemic responsible for an increase in the risk of “motor vehicle crashes, industrial disasters and medical and other occupational errors.” It also points the finger at sleep deprivation for chronic maladies such as “hypertension, diabetes, depression and obesity.”

With our obsession for quantifying everything, it is no wonder that people are curious about who exactly is sleeping, and who is sleeping more. Taking a close look at the data collected by the CDC, there are some interesting statistics. For example, it appears that those in California admit to snoring at a lower level than those in Hawaii, and Hawaiians are reporting getting far less sleep than do those who live in Minnesota, with 44.6% of Hawaiians getting less than seven hours of sleep, but only 27.6% of Minnesotans.

The study was able to determine that there is a much greater likelihood of getting a solid seven hours or more of sleep among those who are married or are part of an unmarried couple, though that same group also has a higher likelihood of having at least one partner who snores disruptively (perhaps it’s just that there’s someone there to hear it and complain about it).

The United States is an incredibly sleep deprived nation The United States is an incredibly sleep deprived nation

It was when looking at the role that ethnicity plays in the amount of sleep that a person gets that the swing between highs and lows starts to make a real shift. The survey found that Hispanics are getting far more sleep each night than Blacks, with only 33% of Hispanics getting less than seven hours of sleep per night, and 48.3% of Blacks getting that same level of insufficient sleep. The margin between Whites and Hispanics was less than 2%. The races were remarkably equivalent when it game to snoring, with about half of every group reporting nighttime noise.

Of all the categories, it was employment status that made the biggest difference in the amount of sleep that people indicated that they were getting. Those who are unable to work are getting the least sleep, with 46.4% reporting that they sleep less than seen hours a day. The employed log in at 37.4% sleeping less than seven hours, and among the retired only 25% are sleeping that little. Unfortunately, the CDC’s data does not break the numbers down by age, which may play a role in the numbers among the retired.


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