Not Sleeping Well? Maybe Because You Live In One Of These Cities, Jawbone Data Says
They say New York is the city that never sleeps. Well, now there's scientific data that backs up the nickname. Tech product company Jawbone examined how late U.S. cities stay up and how much sleep each one gets, on average, by visualizing the data in the form of interactive maps. The results are pretty predictable when it comes to big cities — Miami residents like to stay out late — but what about the rest of America?
Jawbone, a San Francisco-based company known for its wearable tech products, conducted the study based on more than one million users who track their sleep using the company's UP activity tracker. Study author Brian Wilt, who is the company's Principal Data Scientist, took the information from the UP trackers and applied them to two different interactive maps, one showing the average bedtime of Americans and one showing the average number of hours they sleep each night. Every state was examined down to the county with big cities highlighted, such as Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Washington D.C.
The bedtime and sleep data is reflective of each state and city's individual culture and predominant lifestyle. Besides the obvious results that show cities with significant nightlife scenes going to bed later, the maps also reveal some interesting traits about lesser-known counties. As someone who has lived in all corners of the United States — Hawaii, L.A., Pittsburgh, and New York — the data from these maps totally match my own experience.
Cities With the Earliest Average Bedtimes
According to the study, the counties that hit the hay the earliest were:
- Cochise (10:42 p.m.), Graham (10:35 p.m.), and Greenlee (10:35 p.m.) in Arizona
- Catron (10:35 p.m.), Harding (10:43 p.m.), and Quay (10:43 p.m.) in New Mexico
- Kauai (10:33 p.m.), Maui (10:31 p.m.), and the Big Island (10:40 p.m.) in Hawaii
From my personal experience, the early bedtimes in Hawaii makes sense. I lived and worked on an organic lettuce farm on the Big Island of Hawaii for two months, which was long enough for me to notice that the town pretty much shuts down after sunset. The only nightlife in town was tourist attractions like the Hard Rock Cafe and the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company restaurant, where locals wouldn't be caught dead at. Most of the locals' social activities revolved around the beach, which is a lot more fun when the sun is out. So it was common for residents to turn in before 11 p.m. so that they could wake up early to enjoy the surf.
Cities With the Most Night Owls
The cities that stay up the latest are, not surprisingly, either large metropolises or casino cities. Some of these include:
- New York City (11:55 p.m.)
- Las Vegas, Nevada (11:49 p.m.)
- Atlantic City, New Jersey (11:53 p.m.)
- Miami, Florida (11:54 p.m.)
It's not difficult to guess why people in Las Vegas or Atlantic City would stay up late, especially since casinos are designed to disorient customers' senses of time. Nor is it a surprise why cosmopolitan cities like New York (where I currently live) and Miami would have so many night owls. Not staying out all night at clubs would essentially be wasting what those cities are known for (which I am totally guilty of).
But there are also some unexpected counties that have late bedtimes, including Monroe County, Indiana, Centre County, Pennsylvania, Brazos County, Texas, and Tompkins County, NY. According to Jawbone's research team, these counties are home to colleges, whose students tend to stay up late studying.
Cities That Get the Most Sleep
The study also looked at which cities were getting the most sleep on average per night. From the map, it looks like Sawyer, Wisconsin and Pocahontas, West Virginia rank at the top with 7.52 hours and 7.69 hours, respectively. And here I thought the average number of hours everyone was getting each night was 8 hours. I guess that makes me an outlier in my county.
Cities That Could Use More Shut-Eye
Speaking of my county in New York, the average number of hours people in the Big Apple are getting is 6.82. Does that explain why everyone's so cranky all the time?
But New Yorkers are apparently still getting more shut-eye than more rural parts of the country, such as:
- Cheyenne, Nebraska (6.72 hours)
- Grundy, Iowa (6.72 hours)
- Lawrence, Alabama (6.65 hours)
The data makes no mention as to why these random rural parts of the country are getting so little sleep — Jawbone says it wants to "further investigate the effects of geography" and how it affects sleep patterns — but perhaps it has something to do with how income levels can influence the amount of sleep you get.
Images: Jawbone, Getty Images (4)