Mental and physical health could explain sleep divide
Southerners in the US have been found to have the worst sleep,
according to a new study, with mental and physical health been
cited as possible reasons for the regional divide.
The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine identified West Virginia,
Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Missouri as being the
six states with the highest rates of sleep disturbances. The study
went further into connecting this lack of sleep with quality of
life factors which may be preventing people of some states from
sleeping as well as those from others.
The researchers found a number of common connections between those
who had 'problems falling asleep, problems staying asleep, and/or
sleeping too much', and those with poor levels of health.
Dr Michael Grandner, lead author of the study, told 24/7 Wall St:
"Regional differences in sleep disturbance could be explained by a
number of factors, the strongest of which being differences in
mental and physical health, healthcare access, smoking,
latitude/longitude and body mass index."
Obesity levels were high in all six states with the worst sleepers,
according to 24/7 Wall Street which analysed the study's findings
by using data from the Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention and the American Human Development Project.
Mississippi has the highest obesity levels followed by West
Virginia and Alabama, the other three states are in the top
Additionally, all six states with the worst sleep are also among
the top 11 states with the highest smoking rates among adults. West
Virginia ranks at the top for sleep disturbance and rate of
smokers, which could be a key connection.
Life expectancy in Alabama is the third-lowest in the country and
the obesity rate is the third highest. The state also has the
seventh-highest cancer rate with eight highest smoking rate. In
Arkansas, more than 30 per cent of the populating is obese, which
is the 12th highest rate in the country and it has the fourth
highest number of smokers. Missouri state's population
is generally unhealthy, with the 11th highest smoking rate in the
country and more than 30 per cent (the tenth highest) of the