Study: Where (and How) You Live Is Affecting Your Sleep
For many of us, there's nothing quite as blissful as a good night's sleep. But our bodies—ever adapting to longer, messier work hours; nearby technology silently accruing important (or not-so-important) notifications; and other disruptive stimuli—sometimes struggle to wind down. Rates of insomnia are high throughout the United States with 83.6 million American adults recently reporting they are sleep-deprived, and according to a recent study, the cause may be related to environment in more ways than just the darkness of your bedroom.
The study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found that where (and also how) you live directly impacts how well you may be sleeping. For example, study participants who lived in the Great Plains reported the highest rate of healthy sleeping habits. Colorado reported the second-highest sleep rate in the country, while Hawaii reported the worst rate of healthy sleep. Other factors, such as education and relationship status, also impact healthy sleep patterns. Of respondents with a university degree of any level, 71.5% reported that they got enough sleep each night, while only 62.4% of those who had not earned a diploma were sleeping soundly for the suggested seven hours. Meanwhile, only 55.7% of people who were divorced, widowed, or separated got enough sleep. Married respondents are getting the best sleep, while cohabiting or single respondents are doing pretty well too.
So, why should you care? Aside from maximizing enjoyment of your cozy bed linens, short sleep duration (defined as less than seven hours per night) is associated with many health concerns: higher instances of obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, as well as lower generalized cognitive performance. If you're one of the many suffering from insomnia (acute or otherwise), you'll want to take the necessary steps to improve. Easy first steps? Dim those lights, step away from the iPhone, and turn on the white-noise machine (it's magic, we swear).
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