The Cities that Never Sleep: America’s Best and Worst Sleepers

Science has proven that a good night’s sleep is fundamental for long-term health, with the National Institute of Health recommending between 7 and 9 hours per night. But how realistic is this for the average American, and is location a factor? We wanted to find out. 

To get to the bottom of things, we asked 2,000 US residents about their sleeping habits. The results revealed which cities get the most rest, and which could use an extra trip through the Starbucks’s drive-thru.

Average Hours of Sleep Per Night in 50 Major Cities

It turns out, America’s best sleepers hail from Fort Lauderdale. Respondents living in this city just north of Miami reported a healthy average of 8 hours of sleep per night. Not far behind, Portland, all the way on the other side of the country, came in second at 7.5 hours of slumber each night.

Best and Worst Sleepers by City


A further fifteen cities, including St. Louis, Fort Worth, San Diego, Kansas City, and Las Vegas, enjoy more than 7 or more hours of sleep nightly; placing them comfortably over the minimum recommendation from the National Institute of Health. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan be damned, Seattle residents aren’t so sleepless, averaging 7.1 hours of nightly shut-eye.

At the other end of the spectrum, America’s most sleep-deprived city is Virginia Beach, where residents report sleeping just 5.3 hours each night. Other cities suffering from  too little sleep include Jackson, Tulsa, Richmond, and Newark. 

State Overview

Looking at the average night’s sleep per state gives us a bigger picture, and a clearer indication of whether geographical location impacts rest. Some of the cities reporting the highest amounts of sleep don’t perform as well on a state-level. Despite Fort Lauderdale landing in first position in the city rankings, Florida is only in 19th for the amount of sleep on average per state. 

Oregon and Utah share the spoils at the top of the state overview, both with an average of 7.5 hours of sleep per night. Other honorable mentions include Kansas, Maine, Idaho, and Kentucky, all with over 7 hours. States falling below the recommended 7 hours of sleep per night include New Jersey, Illinois, Nevada and New York.

At the very bottom (bunk) of the state rankings is Mississippi, reporting only 5.6 hours of sleep on average per night. Iowa, West Virginia, Hawaii and Delaware all also landed among the bottom five states.

Reported Causes For Lack of Sleep

We went on to ask those who reported the lowest levels of sleep what they think the cause is. Of those asked, 54% said stress is the main reason they don’t sleep well. 

Work (12%), poor sleeping environment (11%), and children (7%) were other popular reasons for lack of sleep across survey respondents. Of all 5,000 people surveyed, 74% said they wish they got more sleep. 

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In March 2023, we surveyed 2,000 Americans across the country. We asked them which city they lived in, and how many hours of sleep they get per night. We were able to use this data to calculate sleep averages across US cities and states.

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Photo credit: Gregory Pappas via Unsplash