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America's Most Sleep-Deprived State (Hint: It's Not New York)

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We all know that Americans need more quality sleep, and we know the consequences of skimping on sleep. But do you know how sleep-deprived your particular state is? As a Californian, I would have guessed we are relatively more sleep deprived out here, and ditto for New York. And I would have been wrong.

According to the most recently-available stats from the CDC, Californians are actually among the least sleep-deprived Americans -- "only" 24.9 percent of Californians report getting insufficient sleep. New Yorkers are a bit more sleep deprived, with 28.5 percent reporting insufficient sleep.

And then there's Kentucky. Almost 35 percent of people in Kentucky report insufficient sleep. That's more than 1 in 3 people. Surely this would qualify Kentucky as the most tired state, right? Nope.

The distinction for most sleep-deprived State in America goes to West Virginia. It seems that 37 percent of residents in the Mountain State are sleep-deprived. That is a lot of sleepy people.

Granted, these data are a few years old (and to the best of my knowledge, the only government study to look at sleep deprivation by state). But if we assume that sleeping habits haven't changed dramatically in the last five years or so, these numbers are certainly remarkable. According to the National Sleep Foundation, most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night.

Percentages of people reporting insufficient sleep in selected states:

  • Alaska: 27.4 percent
  • California: 24.9 percent
  • Colorado: 26.1 percent
  • Florida: 28.9 percent
  • New York: 28.5 percent
  • North Dakota: 22.9 percent (least sleep-deprived)
  • Pennsylvania: 28.8 percent
  • Tennessee: 31.4 percent
  • Texas: 26.6 percent
  • Washington: 27.6 percent
  • West Virginia: 37 percent (most sleep-deprived)

Curious how your state measures up? Check out the CDC's website here.

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