U.S. States Struggling to Sleep the Most During the Last Decade

Last Updated On June 30th, 2023
U.S. States Struggling to Sleep the Most During the Last Decade

During the last decade, most Americans have been struggling to get adequate sleep. This is even more true over the past year as we’ve struggled through the COVID-19 pandemic. An average American sleeps for 6.8 hours a night—this is way less than the 8 hours of sleep per night recommended by the CDC. Verified Source Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) The United States’ health protection agency that defends against dangers to health and safety. View source

Here, we’ve highlighted U.S. states with the most individuals struggling to sleep. We also outline the most common sleep aids used to promote better sleep quality. Continue reading to learn more.

States Struggling to Sleep

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Top 5 states with the most sleep issues during the last decade:

  1. Florida
  2. Illinois
  3. New Jersey
  4. California
  5. Michigan

Top 5 states with the least sleep issues during the last decade:

  1. Rhode Island
  2. Wyoming
  3. West Virginia
  4. Vermont
  5. Montana

Below, we break down the data by year:

States struggling to sleep the most over the last decade, by year

During 2012-2014, New York consistently ranked as a top state with the most sleep issues. However, now, New Yorkers seem to have learned how to improve their sleep quality. 

From 2020, Pennsylvanians began to struggle with sleep problems.

Which states struggle to sleep the most during COVID-19?

We analyzed sleep data during three COVID-19 waves:

1st wave: March 2020 – May 2020

2nd wave: July 2020 – August 2020

3rd wave: March 2023 – April 2023

States struggle to sleep the most covid19

During all 3 waves of COVID-19, California consistently topped the list of states struggling with sleep the most.

The 3 states that frequently had the most sleep issues during these COVID-19 waves were California, Florida, and Texas. 

New Yorkers, to our surprise, didn’t struggle (much) with sleep during the second wave although the state had the most COVID-19 cases at the time.

Texas residents struggled with sleep during the first two COVD-19 waves in 2020, but their sleep problems didn’t seem to endure throughout the whole pandemic

Which sleep aids are used the most?

Most preferred sleep aids over the last decade

During 2012-2013, sleep medicine was one of the two most common methods used for improving sleep quality.

From 2014 onwards, Americans seemed to give up on using sleep medicine. Only Kansas still preferred to use sleep medicine in 2017, and the District of Columbia did the same in 2018. However, in early 2023, North Dakota, New Mexico, and Oregon came back to sleep medicine.

In 2015, sleep stretches became the most common sleep aid in 12 states. However, the trend died down shortly after. 

From 2015 onwards, there was no state using sleep masks for deeper rest.


We analyzed Google Trends and Google Adwords data, which gives search volume of keywords in each state, to create the list. Keywords used are those indicating users are struggling with their sleep, for example: “how to sleep”, “why can’t I sleep”, “sleep apnea treatment”, and “sleep medicines”.

Fair Use Statement

If you know someone who could benefit from our findings, feel free to share this study with them. The graphics and content are available for noncommercial reuse. All we ask is that you link back to this page so that readers get all the necessary information and our contributors receive proper credit.

About the author

April Mayer is a sleep expert and writer with a degree in exercise physiology. She has dedicated her career to exploring the relationship between sleep and productivity. Her insightful articles, such as "The Surprising Way Your Mood Might Be Messing With Your Productivity" and "Wake Up to More Productive Mornings," have been featured in reputable publications like Forbes, Greatist, Real Homes, Thrillist, Tom's Guide, and Eat This, Not That. With a passion for helping others lead more productive lives through restful sleep, April offers valuable expertise on foods and vitamins for better sleep. As a trusted member of the Early Bird team since March 2020, she continues to provide informative and well-researched content.

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