What's Keeping Americans Awake at Night?
What’s Keeping Americans Awake at Night?
The Most Common Sleep Searches State by State
Do you grind your teeth ceaselessly at night? Snore so loudly you wake the whole family up? Whatever your issue, sleep or wakefulness disorders affect between 50 and 70 million Americans, contributing to our country’s serious sleep deficit. If you’ve ever wondered whether you’re the only one struggling to get shut-eye, read on to learn more about the most commonly searched terms related to sleep disorders in each state. What this maps says about your home state and the rest of the country might surprise you.
You Aren’t the Only One Snoring
The next time your spouse tells you that you might be the loudest snorer in the country, tell them to check their facts. Across America, sleep apnea ranked highest on sleep search trends in 16 different states, suggesting that plenty of people struggle with the condition and are trying to learn more. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, the number of sufferers could be as high as 22 million nationwide. Snoring isn’t the only symptom, either.
In most cases, sleep apnea sufferers experience some type of irregular breathing that significantly impacts their quality of rest, contributing to fatigue during the day for both frustrated partners and sufferers alike. A high percentage of residents report logging less than seven hours of sleep each night in states like Colorado, Idaho, and North Dakota, where sleep apnea was the most commonly searched-for sleep disorder.
Falling Asleep Isn’t as Easy as It Sounds
Close on sleep apnea’s heels, insomnia ranks as another common concern, receiving the highest search rating among sleep search terms in 15 states. Within that group of states, some, like Texas and Alaska, also had residents logging the highest average hours worked per week in the nation, suggesting that the stress associated with demanding jobs promotes insomnia in certain areas. The National Sleep Foundation also notes a link between insomnia and obesity, which could explain the search term’s dominance in states like Alabama and Kansas, where nearly 35% of the population is obese.
Mississippians Are on the Move
If you’re planning a stay with the in-laws in Mississippi, you may want to lock your bedroom door at night to prevent some awkward run-ins. Kidding—kind of. Out of each of the 50 states, Mississippi was the only state where the majority of sleep search terms pertained to sleepwalking. The data suggests that at least a few Mississippians are wandering around in the middle of the night or know someone who is. Sleepwalking, or somnambulism, is a mysterious condition, and it most commonly affects children ages four to eight. The state’s birth rate, which is slightly above the national average, might help explain some of those queries.
A Dark Side to Island Time
Insight into Hawaiians’ sleep search terms brings to mind a possible negative to living in paradise. The Hawaiian Islands’ closest U.S. neighbor, California, takes over four hours to reach by plane and is in a completely different time zone. In between surf breaks and hikes through the jungle, Hawaiians have to put up with time differences and jet lag in order to visit the rest of the world, meaning residents are frequently searching for ways to deal with the aggravating effects of all of that travel.
Where you live certainly doesn’t dictate what kind of sleep problems you could have now or down the road, but looking at the problems your neighbors, and the country as a whole, are interested in helps paint a picture of sleep deprivation in America. Staying informed about triggers and treatments to common sleep issues is the best way to move forward in a healthier, better-rested way, but always consult with a medical doctor before beginning a treatment plan to receive the diagnosis and strategy that’s right for you.
To obtain these results, we compiled a Google Trends report assessing the prevalence of the following search terms in each of the 50 states: insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, hypersomnia, jet lag, night terrors, sleepwalking, bruxism, and REM sleep behavior disorder. Each then received a ranking number from Google based on their search rate.
In addition, we analyzed the median age, birth rate per 1,000 women ages 15-44, obesity rate, and average hours worked per week in each state to draw conclusions about possible links between sleep disorders and other factors. These results do not refer to official diagnoses or actual sufferers of each condition, and they are not a substitute for official medical advice.