Despite being known as the city that never sleeps, New Yorkers ranked among the nation’s healthiest sleepers. CountingSheep.net analyzed County Health Rankings and Google search data across the country to determine the sleeping habits of all 50 states.
Counting Sheep determined which state has the unhealthiest sleepers by the number of people who treat their insomnia with medication, rather than holistic methods.
Their data revealed that 39% of New Yorkers do not get enough sleep each night, which totals over 7.4 million adults. These restless sleepers have searched for medication to aid them 488,280 times over the past year, based on Google search data. This means only 7% of New Yorkers actually use medication to fall asleep at night.
Alongside New York for the country’s healthiest sleepers are Ohio, California, Michigan and Pennsylvania. On the other hand, the unhealthiest sleepers are Vermont, Wyoming, Alaska and North and South Dakota.
“As a sleepless nation, it’s evident that many of us struggle with finding techniques that help us fall asleep – and stay asleep – at night,” said a spokesperson from CountingSheep.net. “It’s tempting to pick up an over-the-counter medication or prescription while having difficulty sleeping at night, however, it’s extremely important to remember the side effects that can occur – some of which can have severe impacts on a person’s everyday functions and behaviors […] While things like meditation, deep breathing and other relaxation techniques can have a less immediate impact, these behaviors can contribute to an overall healthier sleep routine for those who are struggling.”
A few of the holistic methods Counting Sheep promotes is the use of white noise machines, meditation or deep breathing techniques before bed. They promote this because many benzodiazepines and nonbenzodiazepines sleeping medications can cause increased grogginess upon waking up and more serious issues like sleepwalking and even sleep-driving.
The Food and Drug Administration has mandated label warnings on certain nonbenzodiazepine drugs due to these rare, but important side effects.