Yawn: Here Are The Most Exhausted States In The US

By Kathy Morris - Mar. 10, 2020

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Feeling tired?

Maybe you tossed and turned in bed for hours, before heading out for a late night shift. Or maybe you sat in traffic for 60 minutes to go to work, only to spend half the day blinking at your computer. Whatever the reason you’re exhausted, it might not be all your fault you’re on that third cup of coffee.

In fact, just like your job and how much money you earn, it all may come down to location, location, location.

We analyzed the data to find the most sleep-deprived states. Turns out some states are in in dire need of a nap.

The Most Exhausted States

  1. West Virginia
  2. Louisiana
  3. Maryland
  4. Mississippi
  5. Georgia
  6. Alabama
  7. Texas
  8. Tennessee
  9. Virginia
  10. Hawaii

West Virginia is the most tired state. The south didn’t fare so well– 5 southern states made the top 10, most sleep-deprived states.

Keep reading to see how we figured out which states are in need of a nap. Or jump down to the bottom to see where your state landed.

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How We Determined The Most Exhausted States

We looked at a variety of factors to determine not only which states get the most sleep, but also to determine the quality of sleep they’re getting.

We ranked each state 1-to-50 in 5 areas:

  • Hours worked (more hours worked, less time to count sheeps)
  • Percent of residents driving 60 minutes or more to work (again, more time driving, less time to sleep)
  • Obesity– obesity has been linked to poor sleep, thus the higher rates of obesity, the worst sleep a state is getting
  • % Of People Getting 7+ Hours sleep, the more sleep the better
  • Percent of residents who leave for 12 00 a.m. to 4 59 a.m., since working those hours is correlated to poor sleep quality

Hours worked, commute, and time residents leave for work all came from the Census’ most recent American Community Survey. Data on obesity came from the CDC, as did average hours slept.

If you’re too tired to keep reading our breakdown on what makes these 10 states so sleepy, you can hop to the end to see where your state landed. Otherwise, keep reading to see what’s keeping these states from getting a good nights sleep.

1. West Virginia

west virginia
People getting more than 7 hour sleep: 62%
Commute 60+ minutes: 9%
Obesity: 39.5%

West Virginia is the sleepiest state in the nation. Only 38% of West Virginians get more than 7 hours of sleep a night. The rest of them are yawning their days away. Why so tired? High obesity rates and a large percentage of workers getting up before dawn to start their day, mean in addition to not getting a lot of sleep, they sleep they do get is poor quality.

2. Louisiana

People getting more than 7 hour sleep: 64%
Commute 60+ minutes: 8%
Obesity: 36.8%

The Bayou state is the second most exhausted state in the nation. Louisianians work longer hours than the rest of the country on average, giving them less time to get shut eye.

3. Maryland

People getting more than 7 hour sleep: 61%
Commute 60+ minutes: 16%
Obesity: 30.9%

Maryland is the third sleepiest state in the nation. What’s keeping Marylanders from getting those ‘zzzzs? Not only are they working long hours, but 15% of Marylanders drive over an hour to work! That is two hours both ways, for an exhausting 10 hours a week spent just getting to work. That adds up to an extra work week a month spent on the interstate when they could be sleeping.

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4. Mississippi

People getting more than 7 hour sleep: 63%
Commute 60+ minutes: 6.8%
Obesity: 39.5%

People in Mississippi are pretty tired. High rates of obesity and a lot of early shifts keep them from getting good quality sleep.

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5. Georgia

People getting more than 7 hour sleep: 61.3%
Commute 60+ minutes: 10.8%
Obesity: 32.5%

Georgians could use some sleep. A whopping 10% of peach state residents spend over an hour getting to work in the morning. No doubt, some of the 38% of Georgians who get under 7 hours sleep a night would rather spend that time in bed!

6. Alabama

People getting more than 7 hour sleep: 61.2%
Commute 60+ minutes: 6.2%
Obesity: 36.2%

Alabama is the 6th most exhausted state in the nation. Alabama residents are sleepy for similar reasons to their southern neighbors- high obesity and shift work contribute to poor quality sleep when they get manage to get it.

7. Texas

People getting more than 7 hour sleep: 67%
Commute 60+ minutes: 8.3%
Obesity: 34.8%

Texans may spend more of their days yawning than most other states. Only 67% get more than 7 hours a night of sleep. The other 33? Probably spend a lot of time making coffee and saying that they’ll go to bed earlier. Good luck with that.

8. Tennessee

People getting more than 7 hour sleep: 62.9%
Commute 60+ minutes: 6.4%
Obesity: 34.4%

Tennessee is the 8th sleepiest state in the nation. Maybe it’s all that delicious BBQ and Nashville style hot chicken, but high obesity rates means residents of the Volunteer State have a hard time getting well-rested, even when they are sleeping. Maybe that’s why almost 38% of Tennessee residents get less than 7 hours sleep a night.

9. Virginia

People getting more than 7 hour sleep: 64%
Commute 60+ minutes: 10.4%
Obesity: 30.4%

Virginia is a similar story to its neighbor Maryland- long work hours, and long commutes mean Virginia residents don’t have as much time to sleep as they should! Of course, the 10% of residents who drive over an hour to work know this- they’re reminded every morning when their alarm goes off unpleasantly early.

10. Hawaii

People getting more than 7 hour sleep: 56.1%
Commute 60+ minutes: 10.1%
Obesity: 24.9%

Hawaiians get less sleep than anywhere else in the nation. While paradise may look peaceful on a postcard, people in the Aloha state just aren’t getting enough sleep. Almost 44% of them are getting under 7 hours a night. Yawn.

Closing Thoughts On The Most Exhausted States

From long hours at work to grueling commutes, and just plain not enough sleep, these are the 10 most exhausted states. A big chunk of these states are in the South, making the South the most exhausted region in the US.

That begs the question, where in the US are people getting full night’s sleeps and waking up well-rested and ready for the day? You can check those out below, or scroll a little further to see the full, ranked list.

The Most Well Rested States

  1. Montana
  2. Vermont
  3. Utah
  4. South Dakota
  5. Idaho
  6. Minnesota
  7. Nebraska
  8. New Mexico
  9. Kansas
  10. Rhode Island

The Most Exhausted States

Rank State
1 West Virginia
2 Louisiana
3 Maryland
4 Mississippi
5 Georgia
6 Alabama
7 Texas
8 Tennessee
9 Virginia
10 Hawaii
11 Kentucky
11 Indiana
13 Illinois
14 Arkansas
15 Pennsylvania
16 Delaware
17 South Carolina
18 Washington
19 California
20 Arizona
21 Florida
22 New York
23 Michigan
24 Oklahoma
25 New Jersey
26 New Hampshire
27 Nevada
28 Missouri
29 North Carolina
30 Maine
31 Ohio
32 Wisconsin
33 Massachusetts
33 Wyoming
35 Alaska
36 Iowa
37 North Dakota
38 Colorado
39 Oregon
40 Connecticut
41 Rhode Island
41 Kansas
43 New Mexico
44 Nebraska
45 Minnesota
46 Idaho
47 South Dakota
48 Utah
49 Vermont
50 Montana

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Kathy Morris

Kathy is the head of content at Zippia with a knack for engaging audiences. Prior to joining Zippia, Kathy worked at Gateway Blend growing audiences across diverse brands. She graduated from Troy University with a degree in Social Science Education.

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