21 of America’s biggest cities average fewer than seven hours of sleep a night

Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

Jawbone, the maker of the popular fitness tracker by the same name, crunched data for tens of thousands of its users in over twenty of the United State's largest cities (and several thousand users in more than twenty of the largest cities around the world).

It turns out that New York City doesn't quite live up to its reputation for night crawling—the city's dwellers actually go to sleep earlier on average than those of any other in the country, at around 11:15 pm. And that Las Vegas, rather true to form, boasts the shortest average sleep schedule among American cities, at just over six and a half hours each night. No city around the world, however, sleeps as little as Tokyo, Japan—where the average night of sleep spanned just under five hours and forty-five minutes—or as much as Melbourne, Australia—where the average night of sleep was estimated to be roughly seven hours.

But what's most interesting is this: every one of the 21 U.S. and 24 international cities included in Jawbone's survey registered fewer than seven hours of sleep per night on average. Even in Melbourne, the city that sleeps the most, the average was six hours and fifty-eight minutes, just short of the seven hour marker. That number might be inflated (or deflated) for international cities, for which Jawbone concedes its sample might not be as statistically significant. But it's likely a reasonable estimate of sleep schedules in the United States, where the sample was much larger.

All in all, the 21 American cities averaged just over 6.8 hours of sleep per night. That's in stark contrast to the Labor Statistics Bureau data released back in June that suggests the average American gets almost nine hours of sleep per night. It's also considerably less than the seven to eight hours of nightly sleep the CDC recommends.

Perhaps this helps explain the country's fast-growing taste for energy drinks and convenient methods for brewing coffee.

Roberto A. Ferdman is a reporter for Wonkblog covering food, economics, immigration and other things. He was previously a staff writer at Quartz.
Comments
Show Comments

business

wonkblog

Most Read Business
Next Story
Jason Millman · August 20, 2014