See the best & worst cities for sleep as ranked by Real Age.
A good night’s sleep is often elusive, but were you aware that where you live can have an impact on how well you rest? See how your city stacks up and learn steps to decrease stress and increase relaxation, regardless of location.
Top Ten Best Cities for Sleep
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- Cleveland, Ohio
- Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Austin, Texas
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Buffalo, New York
- Hartford, Connecticut
- Raleigh, North Carolina
- Chicago, Illinois
Top Ten Worst Cities for Sleep
- Louisville, Kentucky
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Knoxville, Tennessee
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- Jacksonville, Florida
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida
- Portland, Oregon
- Los Angeles, California
- Providence, Rhode Island
About Real Age’s Study
Real Age used a variety of self-reported factors to rank the 50 metro largest metro areas on sleep. The data included whether respondents slept more or less than 7 to 8 hours per night, and whether this rate was consistent or varied by 2 hours or more on a regular basis. Results were drawn from the self-reported measures of people who take the “RealAge” tests which uses data to determine age based on aspects of health rather than counting years. See more about the study and the full results at RealAge.com.
How To Improve Your Sleep
No matter where you live, there are some actions you can take to ensure you get the best sleep possible. Follow these tips to eliminate sleep-stealing distractions and boost your sleep hygiene.
Know Potential Rest Robbers:
STRESS: Stress, both good and bad, can have a significant effect on sleep. Anticipating a wedding or birth of a child often leads to difficulty falling asleep. Bad stress includes factors such as, overdue payments, hours spent commuting to work, and marital or relationship problems.
CHANGE: Changes in finances, living situations, relationships, employment and other critical areas of our lives can affect sleep. Like with stress, it is best to deal with these issues long before bed time so you can rest with a clear mind. Consider keeping a notebook or journal by your bed to jot down important thoughts and clear your mind, and try to talk about issues before bed.
STIMULANTS: Caffeine and exercise can pose problems for people who partake late in the day. Caffeine stays in the body for several hours, while exercise revs up the metabolism. Try scheduling exercise before 3 PM, and cutting out caffeine after noon. Alcohol can also disrupt sleep, and is best avoided before bed.
MATTRESS: A worn out mattress can reduce the quality of sleep experienced even when spending the recommended hours in bed. Thrashing about, tossing and turning throughout the night is not an indication of peaceful rest. If you wake up stiff and sore or feel unrested the following day, replacing your mattress may be the simplest remedy.
DEPRESSION: Depression is one of the leading factors blamed for disrupting sleep habits. It can lead to either too little or too much sleep. Many people feel the need to escape when they are overwhelmed with sorrow, such as after the loss of a loved one, or have suffered the loss of income. They may feel too fatigued to pull themselves through the day. Conversely, others may feel so overwhelmed by problems they can’t fall asleep leading to insomnia. Talk to a doctor to find treatment options if this is happening to you.
HEALTH: Conditions like arthritis, GERD, sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, and even life stages like pregnancy and aging can affect sleep by making it difficult to get comfortable at night or by making it hard to stay asleep throughout the night. Speak with a doctor when these symptoms persist and examine whether the type of mattress you currently sleep on is providing adequate support. Depending on your needs, you might benefit from a softer or firmer bed, a different material, or an adjustable bed that can work with your body.
Adopt Lifestyle Habits for Better Sleep:
The top cities were considered to have overall healthier lifestyles than respondents from cities in the worst ranked. Of course individual results vary significantly. People today are able to have a larger impact on their own health than ever before, through better nutrition, exercise and lifestyle choices. Modern medical advances have also contributed to a longer lifespan on average. What can you do if your city falls in the lower group? We suggest some of the following ideas to improve sleep hygiene:
- Make a conscious effort to address problems early in the day at work and early in the evening at home, so they can be resolved in a timely manner.
- Relax and unwind before going to bed, using proven relaxation techniques such as a warm bath, yoga, soothing music, or lowering lights.
- Eliminate TV’s, computers and work from the bedroom. Relax by reading a favorite book or magazine, or perhaps writing in a journal.
- Keep your bedroom and bed neat and clean. Clutter and disorganization can make it difficult to relax.
- If your city is noisy, try sleeping with earplugs or calming white noise to drown out distractions.
- Use natural cotton sheets and bedding to create a welcoming and breathable environment.
- Lights can significantly reduce sleep quality. Use shades to cover windows and a faint nightlight to navigate during the night. It is also recommended to turn off televisions approximately an hour before retiring for the evening as the light they emit can stimulate wakefulness.
If you aren’t getting a good night’s rest, analyze the factors which may be robbing precious hours of sleep from your night and adjust them. Lifestyle changes can have a significant impact on how well you sleep, and also on longevity and overall health. Creating a comfortable bedroom can also help take the edge of stressful days and prepare your mind for rest. Whether you are sleepless in Louisville or cozy in Charlotte, practicing good sleep hygiene is on important step in staying healthy.