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New Jersey ranks 6th among the worse states for sleep quality

In Recognition of Sleep Awareness Week, Sleep Cycle Analyzed How Well Americans are Sleeping Across the Country

Sleep Cycle, the leading sleep tracking application and one of the most widely used solutions worldwide to improve sleep health, analyzed over 15 million hours of sleep across the United States in recognition of Sleep Awareness Week® to better understand if Americans are truly getting quality sleep.

The analysis uncovered that HawaiiNevada and Maryland have the worst sleep quality in the country, while MontanaColorado and Vermont are sleeping the best.

“Sleep is integral to our mental health. As this year’s Sleep Awareness Week focuses on sleep health and its connection to mental health, it’s a perfect time for Americans to take a step back and think about where sleep is ranked in their lives,” said Dr. Mike Gradisar, Ph.D. & Head of Sleep Science at Sleep Cycle. “Practicing healthy sleep habits, such as meditation around bedtime and maintaining consistent bedtimes and wake-up times will elevate your sleep, is especially important as you manage stressors in your day-to-day life.”

According to the Sleep Cycle analysis of Sleep Quality across the country, the top ten states with the worst sleep quality were spread out across the nation and included:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Nevada
  3. Maryland
  4. Florida
  5. Texas
  6. New Jersey
  7. Alabama
  8. Mississippi
  9. Louisiana
  10. Georgia

The ten states with the best sleep quality were:

  1. Montana
  2. Colorado
  3. Vermont
  4. Oregon
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Iowa
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Idaho
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Minnesota

To see the full list of states, click here.

So what could be impacting the sleep of Americans? Dr. Gradisar says that one cause could be worry and stress, which could interfere with the ability to fall asleep, as well as one’s sleep quality and duration. A 2023 report by the American Psychological Association found that among the day-to-day stress categories, health-related stressors (65%), money (63%), and the economy (64%) were reported among the top significant sources of stress in adults’ lives.

Interestingly, with the exception of HawaiiMaryland and New Jersey, among the top 10 states for lowest sleep quality, they all share commonalities in these stress categories. They all rank low for access to healthcare as well as high poverty rates and low for economic opportunities. While HawaiiMaryland and New Jersey are outliers, the states rank among the top for high cost of living, which can certainly impact stress.

While stress can impair sleep by prolonging how long it takes to fall asleep as well as fragmenting sleep, Dr. Gradisar recommends the following novel tips to reduce worry and improve sleep while dealing with day-to-day stressors.

  • Mindfulness body scan practice: in a 2018 study people were asked to listen to a 15-minute mindfulness body scan at bedtime – and to practice this for 2 weeks. It found that people who regularly took more than 30 minutes to fall asleep, fell asleep about 50% faster after 1 week of practicing this technique.
  • Watch TV to distract from worries: yes. About 30% of people fall asleep watching TV before bed. In fact, there’s practically no relationship between watching TV and sleep. But keep in mind that this should be a temporary solution.
  • Find something that helps distract and relax your mind: in the end, you need to find something that redirects you from those racing thoughts and worries. For example, you can try the Sleep Program called ‘Relax the Mind’ within the Sleep Cycle app. This notion of redirecting your mind to more pleasant thoughts is a technique called ‘Cognitive refocusing’, which has been shown to be effective after a couple of weeks of practice.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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