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Minneapolis, Anaheim Rated Best Cities For Sleep

Sleep deprived? Move to Minneapolis, Anaheim or Austin. A new study reveals the best and worst cities in America for getting some good sleep. Cities with the most sleep problems? Detroit and Cleveland.

The "Sleep in the City" study ranks America's 50 most populated metropolitan areas in getting a good night's sleep. The analysis is based primarily on a CDC nationwide telephone survey of more than 250,000 households in which residents were questioned about physical and emotional health — markers for good sleep.

The top metro areas for good sleep:

Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.; Anaheim, Calif.; San Diego, Calif.; Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C.; Washington, D.C.; Bergen-Passaic, N.J.; Chicago; Boston; Austin, Texas; Kansas City, Mo.

The 10 cities with most sleep problems:

Detroit; Cleveland; Nashville, Tenn.; Cincinnati; New Orleans; New York; Las Vegas; Miami; San Francisco; St. Louis.

"The single greatest factor identified by people who reported themselves as being happy (feeling healthy and full of energy) was having a restful sleep," writes lead researcher Bert Sperling, who is known for national studies like "Best Places" to live, work, play and retire.

Among the "sleep criteria" data that Sperling factored into his report:

—Number of good sleep days in the past month

—Average length of daily commute

—Divorce rate

—Unemployment rate

The "Happiness Index" was also factored in, derived from questions about a person's physical, mental, and emotional health — including energy level, health problems, worry, tension, anxiety, depression and sadness. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau are also part of the picture.

Good Sleep Cities

Minneapolis residents reported nearly 23 days of good sleep in the average month, which is 6 percent more than the national average, Sperling reports.

On the Happiness Index, people in Minneapolis scored near the top. They also reported 15 percent fewer days when they felt stressed and 25 percent more days when they felt great. Their low-stress lifestyle included a short commute and low unemployment.

Chicagoans reported some of the longest commute times and a fairly high unemployment rate. But they rated high in good sleep days and the Happiness Index, with 13 percent more positive mental health days than the national average.

Austin was strongest in the Happiness Index, thanks to a strong feeling of good general health, Sperling reports. Austin residents had 23 good sleep days per month (the national average is 22 per month), low unemployment, and moderately short commute time.

Worst Cities for Good Sleep

Detroit earned the dubious distinction of "worst place for sleeping," writes Sperling. Detroit had low scores across the board — in the Happiness Index, in physical and mental health, and in employment rate. "The lone bright spot was the commute time, which was average for our study," he writes. Detroit residents had nine days of poor sleep per month, 10 percent higher than average.

Cleveland had the least number of good sleep days — 20 per month. Also, Cleveland's Happiness Index was the sixth lowest in the study. On the bright side, Cleveland residents don't spend much time in traffic.

By Jeanie Lerche Davis; reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD

SOURCE: Sperling, B. "Best and Worst Cities for Sleep," 2004.