Southerners Most Sleep Deprived in the U.S.

Apparently where you live has at least some bearing on how well you sleep.   A research team analyzed nationwide data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), producing the first state-by-state sleep maps for the United States.

The map, from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, reveals that residents of Southern states suffer from the most sleep disturbances and daytime fatigue, while residents on the West Coast report the least amount of problems. The results are published online in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

The findings suggest that those in the South are most likely to report sleep disturbance and daytime fatigue, and those in the West are least likely. Of the states where data was collected, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and West Virginia ranked in the highest bracket for each category.

The new study evaluated state-based prevalence of self-reported sleep disturbance and daytime fatigue across 36 U.S. states/ territories using data from 157,319 people who took part in the 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) telephone survey.

To better understand the sleep patterns, the researchers examined a number of underlying possibilities, such as demographics, obesity, health, and even weather and sunlight patterns in the different states. They determined that regional differences in mental health, race/ethnicity, and access to medical care were the strongest factors that explain these differences.