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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over a third of US adults report getting less than the recommended amount of sleep. The same is true of children, and the number of teens is even higher: three-quarters of teens report not sleeping enough.

Per the CDC, sleep is a critical component of overall health, and insufficient sleep is linked to obesity, depression, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Poor sleep can also cause car crashes — the CDC estimates that more than 6,000 fatal crashes a year involve a drowsy driver.

What is the recommended amount of sleep?

The recommended amount of sleep is dictated by developmental stages and physiological needs — it primarily depends on age.

The CDC recommends 7 or more hours for adults ages 18–60, while teenagers should aim for 8–10 hours.

For younger children the requirements increase, with preschoolers needing 10–13 hours and toddlers needing 11–14, including naps.

Newborns and infants need the most sleep, from 12–17 hours depending on age.

How long does the average person sleep per night?

According to recent data, Americans in all age ranges experience insufficient sleep and high schoolers are most likely to not sleep enough.

While children and adults experience insufficient rates of sleep at similar rates (35% and just over 36%), 77% of high schoolers report not sleeping enough.[1]


According to the CDC, an average of 35% of kids ages 4 months to 14 years didn’t get enough sleep from 2020 through 2021.

Southern states reported the highest shares of children with sleep deficits, with Louisiana reporting the highest rate at 50.3% of kids — it's the only state that tops 50%. Surrounding states also reported similar rates — Mississippi (48.5%), Alabama (46.4%), and Arkansas (44.0%).

Tennessee (42.8%), West Virginia (42.4%), New Mexico (42.3%), Georgia (41.1%), Kentucky (40.9%), and South Carolina and Texas (40.5%) also topped the 40.0% mark.

Kids in the north had the lowest rates of insufficient sleep. Minnesota and Washington reported the lowest and second lowest rates in the nation, at just under 25.0%.

Eleven other states — Utah, Montana, Colorado, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, North Dakota, Oregon, Wisconsin, Connecticut, and Massachusetts — reported rates of insufficient sleep for children between 25.0% and 30.0%.

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Twenty-six states and Washington, DC, reported rates between 30.0–39.9%.

High school students

Rates of insufficient sleep were highest for high school students, according to 2021 CDC data.

High schoolers should be getting between 8 and 10 hours of sleep per night, but the nationwide average for insufficient sleep is 77.3% of high schoolers.

Pennsylvania reported the highest rate of insufficient sleep for high schoolers, at 83.9%. Ten other states reported rates of at or above 80.0%.

Thirty states plus Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico reported insufficient teen sleep rates between 70.0–79.9%.

Data is not available for high schoolers in ten states and four territories: Alaska, California, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, Wyoming, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and Virgin Islands.

The CDC reports that early school start times may be a barrier to sufficient sleep for high schoolers. Lack of sleep for teenagers is linked to:

  • Being overweight, and not engaging in daily physical activity
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Risky behaviors like drinking and drug use
  • Poor academic performance


Nationwide, 36.1% of adults report insufficient sleep. Seven hours are recommended for all adults ages 18 and older

Adults in Hawaii reported the highest rate of insufficient sleep of all states, at 45.6%. Guam reported the highest of all states and territories at 50.4%, the only place exceeding 50%.

Vermont and Minnesota reported the lowest rates of insufficient sleep for adults at 29.6%. Forty-five states, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands reported rates between 30.0–39.9%.  Three states — Alabama, West Virginia, and Hawaii — reported rates between 40.0–46.0%.

How much of America is sleep deprived?

Although there is some variation by state, more than 36% of adults don't get the recommended 7+ hours of sleep. More than three-quarters — 77% — of teens fall short of their 8-to-10 hour goal, and 35% of children in all age groups don't get their target amounts.

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What factors keep Americans from getting enough sleep?

Insufficient sleep is caused by many factors, which people have varying levels of control over. Collectively, our sleep-related habits are known as "sleep hygiene."

Diet can affect sleep: alcohol consumption before bed, caffeine intake, and spicy foods that cause heartburn can all have a negative impact.

Sleep environment, like a room that's too hot, not dark enough, or too noisy, also plays a role.

Lifestyle habits, like exercising too late in the day, scrolling on phone or laptop screens, or watching TV too late at night, can make it challenging to wind down and fall asleep. Napping too much during the day or irregular sleeping patterns in general can make it difficult to fall asleep at night.

Stress is also a cause of insufficient sleep, whether it’s due to work, personal hardship, or something else.

Some medications, like medication for blood pressure, asthma, and depression, may interfere with people’s sleep responses, as can medications taken at the wrong time of day.

In addition to sleep hygiene, an estimated 50 to 70 million people suffer from sleep disorders like insomnia, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, and sleep apnea.

To sleep better, the CDC recommends a consistent sleep schedule; a dark, quiet room at a comfortable temperature; not engaging with electronics before sleep; avoiding caffeine, large meals, and alcohol before bedtime; and being physically active during the day (but not right before bedtime).

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Chronic Disease Indicators

Data for children is from 2020–2021, data for high schoolers is from 2021 only, and data for adults is from 2022. Data for children is parent-reported and for children ages 0–5 years is based on an average day, and for children ages 6–14 years is based on an average weeknight. High school students are classified as grades 9–12 who report usually getting insufficient sleep duration (<8 hours for those aged 13–18 years, on average school night. Short sleep duration is defined as less than 7 hours for adults over a 24-hour period.