- Percentage of adults who self-report sleeping less than 7 hours in a 24-hour period, on average
Insufficient sleep is the percentage of adults who report sleeping less than 7 hours in a 24-hour period, on average. The 2015 Rankings are based on 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data.
Insufficient sleep ranges from a high of 44% in Hawaii to a low of 27.8% in South Dakota. Nationally, 34.2% of the population reports insufficient sleep.
Public Health Impact
Insufficient sleep has become a public health epidemic over the last 2 decades. An estimated 70 million US adults suffer from chronic sleep and wakefulness disorders. Sleep is an important determinant of overall health and well-being. Adequate sleep is necessary for optimal sugar metabolism and functioning of the immune system. CDC’s surveillance of sleep behavior has expanded to include data on outcomes associated with sleep insufficiency such as motor vehicle crashes and occupational errors. An estimated 1,500 fatal car accidents and 40,000 non-fatal injuries annually are the result of drowsy drivers.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults sleep 7 to 9 hours nightly and school-age children sleep 9 to 11 hours nightly. Everyone should follow a sleep schedule. Adults who average 7 or fewer hours of sleep nightly are more likely to have difficulty performing daily tasks than those who meet sleep recommendations. Inadequate sleep also affects physical health. Adults who average fewer than 7 hours of sleep nightly are more likely to have chronic illnesses including obesity, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, and depression; they are also more likely to have a reduced quality of life and productivity.
According to the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research, “each year, sleep disorders, sleep deprivation, and sleepiness add an estimated $15.9 billion to the national health care bill. Additional costs to society for related health problems, lost worker productivity, and accidents have not been calculated.” Healthy People 2020 objectives to improve sleep health are to increase the proportion of adults and high school students who get sufficient sleep.
 The National Sleep Foundation. How much sleep do we really need? http://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need/page/0/1. Accessed July 22, 2015.
 Institute of Medicine. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2006.