Jan 22, 2024 - News

Washington sleeps more than most (but not enough)

😴 Share of adults getting fewer than seven hours of sleep per night, on average
Data: Apple Heart and Movement Study; Map: Alice Feng/Axios

Washingtonians are getting more sleep than most, but it's still not enough, according to a study that tracked the sleep of nearly 60,000 Apple Watch users from February to June 2022.

Why it matters: Experts say sleeping seven or more hours is crucial for your health, but many people try to fix broken sleep habits the wrong way.

Driving the news: The study found that almost 62% of Washingtonians got fewer than seven hours of sleep. Americans logged less than six and a half hours of sleep per night on average.

  • Sleep experts told Axios that people tend to stay up later in places where it stays lighter later, unlike Seattle, which clocks around nine hours of daylight this time of year.
  • Although data of Apple users during that time period might not reflect the general population, the "fact that we don't get enough sleep [is] clear across the board," said Karin Johnson, a sleep medicine specialist and professor of neurology.

Of note: The study mirrors a 2019 study by an insurance company that suggested Seattle was not sleepless at all and its residents were among the nation's better-rested.

Details: Deep sleep helps your body restore its immune system, lowers your blood pressure and heart rate and could add years to your life, according to UW Medicine.

Yes, but: You usually need to change several bad sleeping habits to see results, sleep experts say.

Be smart: Here are a few tips from the UW Medicine Sleep Center at Harborview Medical Center.

  • Take a hot bath before tucking in.
  • Sleep in a cooler bedroom, ideally 60–67 degrees.
  • Turn off electronics at least an hour before bed and cover the clock.

Plus: Try blackout curtains or an eye mask, since even a sliver of light can be disruptive. Also, check out white noise machines and apps.


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