Detroiters get the worst sleep in the US, report finds

click to enlarge Detroiters get the worst sleep in the US, report finds
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A new report identified Detroit as the city where people get the worst sleep — and the poverty rate might be partly why.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting seven to nine hours of sleep a day — but the study, commissioned by Amerisleep, found that 50.1 percent of Detroiters sleep less than seven hours, and 48.8 percent of Flint residents sleep less than seven hours. (In comparison, the national average only clocks in at about 35.5 percent of people getting less than seven hours.)

The study found that that the 25 worst-rested cities were also among those with the highest levels of poverty in America.

These cities often had more than two times as many residents living below the poverty line when compared with the cities with the best rest. Additionally, “those in the best-rested cities had a median household income of $67,882, compared to only $37,765 in the worst-rested cities,” the study states.

Michigan is home to both Flint and Detroit, two of the worst-rested cities. Flint’s poverty rate is at 41 percent, while Detroit is at 38 percent, according to the study. For perspective, Centennial, Colorado has a poverty rate of 4.3 percent, about 10 times less than that of Flint.

The findings are concerning because the cities with the poorest sleep also had a higher rate of residents with poor health. Our bodies repair themselves when we sleep, and a lack of sleep can make us more susceptible to catching illnesses like the common cold. Sleep can also help fight off other health issues likes diabetes, obesity, and some heart conditions.

A lack of sleep not only negatively affects physical health, but also mental health. The reported indicated that studies show that people “are 10 times more likely to experience clinical depression and 17 times as likely to have clinical anxiety if they aren’t sleeping enough.”

The worst-rested cities have over 16 percent of people facing mental health issues, while only about 10 percent of people in the best-rested cities report having them. This could be a factor in Flint, which is among the top cities facing mental health issues in the country, according to the study.

Other surprising factors the report indicated could affect sleep are population density and whether you have access to health insurance — with cities with the worst sleep also being home to nearly twice as many people without health insurance, and cities with the least rest also being twice as crowded as the best-rested cities.

The study focused on adults ages 18 and older, used data from the CDC’s 500 Cities Project and the U.S. Census Bureau, and it reviewed the 500 largest cities in America. You can learn more about the 500 Cities Project at or access its data portal. The U.S. Census Bureau data is available at

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