Where do Americans Sleep Best?

Christopher Ingraham: “New research … finds that the quality of Americans’ sleep has a geographic dimension, too. The data comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, which asked 432,000 people the following question: “During the past thirty days, for about how many days have you felt you did not get enough rest or sleep?”

“Researchers separated people into two categories based on how they answered this question: those who reported poor sleep on fewer than 15 days, and those who slept poorly 15 or more days in the previous month … Then they tallied the responses up at the county level and mapped the percent of each county’s residents who reported this persistent poor sleep.”

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“The nation’s biggest cluster of bad sleep ended up in the heart of Appalachia and in a cluster of counties in Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee.”

“The research also identified a number of ‘coldspots’ when it comes to sleep deficiency — places where rates are below average. Wisconsin has a number of these counties, as does Northern Virginia. In many of these counties, rates of sleep difficulty fall below 20 percent.”

“People who were generally younger, poorer and in worse health were more likely to live in places with high rates of bad sleep.”

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