New Orleans residents are not catching enough zzz's

6th most sleep-deprived large city in the U.S.

Don Ames
April 15, 2019 - 8:34 am

fizkes - Getty Images


New Orleans is known as one of those cities that never sleeps. 

And, new research backs that up. But, it's not seen as a positive, other than on tourist brochures.

Data from the CDC and U.S. Census Bureau indicate New Orleans is one of the most sleep deprived large cities in the country. More than 40 percent of our population gets less than 7 hours sleep a night. 

"We're one of those cities where a significant proportion of people don't get enough sleep. And that can be associated with worse health outcomes and worse financial outcomes," says Dr. Benjamin Springgate, Chief of Community and Population Medicine with LSU Health.

New Orleans ranks 6th on a list of major cities whose residents don't get enough sleep. And, the consequences are not good. 

"Not getting enough sleep can be associated with worse mental health, higher levels of stress, heart disease, higher levels of obesity, feeling tired, of course, and lethargic."

He says not only is lack of sleep unhealthy, it could affect one's family life and income. If we aren’t fully rested, we are irritable, our motor skills are impaired, and we may not be able to make sound decisions. And, if you're not at your best on the're not likely to advance, professionally.

On the other hand, adequate sleep can be associated with higher productivity, increased concentration, and better academic functioning, all of which can be associated with a better financial situation.

So, how much sleep do we actually need?

"The health effects that seem to be associated with poor sleep are when people get less than seven hours on a consistent basis," says Springgate.

And, while seven hours may not be the hard and fast rule for everyone...

"That tends to be a number that can be associated with better health outcomes, less stress and better financial outcomes."

Haven Life, a life insurance provider, just released the new report on sleep deprivation in United States cities.

Their researchers analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 500 Cities Project and U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey to assess sleep deprivation trends in the United States. For New Orleans, the data shows that 40.8% of the 393,292 residents are sleep deprived. That ranks 6th among all large cities, and 30th among all U.S. cities for percentage of the population that is sleep deprived.

The table below shows a summary of data for New Orleans:

6. New Orleans, LA
Population sleeping less than 7 hours per night: 40.8 percent
Poor physical health: 12.9 percent
Poor mental health: 13.1 percent
Lack of physical activity: 27.3 percent
Obesity rate: 34.5 percent
Median household income: $36,999

With 40.8 percent of the population not getting their full 7 hours a night, residents in New Orleans should catch a few more zzz’s. Health data for New Orleans reveals poor mental and physical health outcomes compared to the national averages. Notably, the obesity rate is 5 percentage points higher than the national average. The median household income in New Orleans is also about 39 percent lower than the national median.

See the complete report on sleep deprivation in United States cities here:

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