Many health disparities are correlated to where in the country you live. New research suggests the same is true for how well you sleep.

 

Crunching data from 36 states and territories, University of Pennsylvania researcher Michael Grandner found that people in the South are more likely to report sleep disturbances and daytime fatigue, and those in the West are less likely.

Mental health, race and access to health care were correlated with sleep problems, but Grandner said nothing completely accounted for the difference.

"Even after including all of those other variables in the model, the statistics still came out that they were not equal," Grandner said.

He hypothesizes cultural differences may be contributing to the disparity.

"There may be parts of the country that are more likely to be very stoic in the face of problems versus not,” Grandner said. “There may be parts of the country that value sleep very highly versus other that may not."

Delaware residents reported the lowest level of sleep disturbances, but a relatively high level of daytime fatigue. New Jersey and Pennsylvania do not collect sleep data in the national survey Grandner used in the study.

Grandner said though about one third of states are not included in the analysis, it is an important first step in studying how sleep influences health.

Of the variables Grandner studies, mental health was the best predictor of sleep quality.