The Most Tired, Sleep Deprived States For Workers

By Kathy Morris
Oct. 28, 2021

70% of Americans say they don’t get enough sleep.

However, some workers have it worse than others. 44% of night shift workers get less than six hours of sleep nightly on average.

It got us thinking, are there some states as a whole where workers are more tired than others? Where the coffee flows copiously and yawns fill the rows of cubicles?

Using data from the National Safety Survey, we found the most (and least!) sleep deprived states.

Our Most Interesting Findings

  • Hawaii is the most sleep-deprived state, with 44% of Hawaiians not getting enough sleep.
  • Hawaii is followed by Kentucky, Georgia, and Alabama in number of exhausted workers.
  • In general, the west (and Midwest) in particular is fairly well rested, while the South and Northeast could use a nap.
  • One possible reason the Midwest has the opportunity to sleep in? On average some of the shortest commutes in the country.
  • South Dakota, Colorado, and Minnesota have the smallest percent of sleep deprived workers.
  • In fact, the difference is pretty stark; Only 28% of South Dakota residents were classified as sleep deprived.

Most Sleep Deprived States

    1. Hawaii
    2. Kentucky
    3. Georgia
    4. Alabama
    5. Maryland
    6. New York
    7. Indiana
    8. South Carolina
    9. Michigan
    10. Delaware

Least Sleep Deprived States

    1. South Dakota
    2. Colorado
    3. Minnesota
    4. Montana
    5. Nebraska
    6. Iowa
    7. Idaho
    8. Vermont
    9. Kansas
    10. North Dakota

Scroll to the bottom to see the list of all 50 states, from most sleep deprived to least.

How We Determined This

The National Safety Council’s survey on sleep deprivation looked into both prevalence and outcomes of poor sleep.

Insufficient sleep was defined as under 6 hours a night. The chart- and data displayed- refers to workers who on average get less than 6 hours of sleep nightly. So this does not reflect one crummy night of sleep, or even a crummy night of sleep weekly.

The state level data comes from the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a state-based telephone survey of health-relatedbehaviors conducted annually in the U.S.10 See Table 2. The
fatigue calculator uses this data to estimate the prevalence of sleep deficiency across states.

Sleep Matters

While many may joke around the water cooler about being exhausted, being chronically sleep deprived can have serious consequences.

Not only can sleep make you sloppy at work and harm career opportunities, it can also contribute to dire outcomes such as car accidents and poor mental health.

If your job has you reliant on coffee and prayers to keep your eyes open, it might be time to look into a job with a shorter commute or schedule more conductive to sleep. Of course, you could always take a nice mid-day work nap to catch up on some zzzz’s.

States With The Most Sleep Deprived Workers, From Most To Least

Rank State Percent Sleep Deprived
1 Hawaii 44.0%
2 Kentucky 38.9%
3 Georgia 38.8%
4 Alabama 38.5%
4 Maryland 38.5%
6 New York 38.1%
7 Indiana 37.8%
8 South Carolina 37.7%
9 Michigan 37.5%
10 Delaware 37.4%
10 West Virginia 37.4%
12 New Jersey 37.1%
12 Ohio 37.1%
14 Pennsylvania 36.8%
15 Tennessee 36.7%
16 Arkansas 36.5%
17 Mississippi 36.4%
18 Nevada 36.2%
19 Rhode Island 36.1%
20 Virginia 35.9%
21 Louisiana 35.7%
22 Oklahoma 35.2%
23 Alaska 35.1%
24 Florida 34.9%
25 Connecticut 34.5%
26 Illinois 34.2%
27 Massachusetts 34.1%
28 California 33.7%
29 Texas 33.2%
30 Missouri 33.1%
31 Arizona 32.7%
32 North Carolina 32.4%
33 Maine 32.2%
34 New Hampshire 32.0%
35 New Mexico 31.6%
35 Washington 31.6%
37 Wisconsin 31.3%
38 Oregon 31.2%
39 North Dakota 31.0%
39 Utah 31.0%
39 Wyoming 31.0%
42 Kansas 30.5%
43 Idaho 30.3%
43 Vermont 30.3%
45 Iowa 30.2%
46 Montana 30.0%
46 Nebraska 30.0%
48 Minnesota 28.9%
49 Colorado 28.5%
50 South Dakota 27.8%

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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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Topics: Study