Floridians May Be Getting the Least Amount of Sleep in the Nation
By Space Coast Daily // February 18, 2020
Florida is home to beautiful sandy beaches, sunshine, and surprisingly, poor sleep. That’s right, research has shown Florida to be one of the worst states in the U.S. for getting a good night’s rest.
In one study, Florida ranked 30 among all states when it comes to getting at least seven hours of sleep per night on average. Hawaii ranked the worst, another sunny tourist destination state, and South Dakota taking the top spot for getting great sleep.
What’s up with Florida’s sleep problems?
Why are Floridians getting the least amount of sleep in the nation? There are a few theories. One of the main thoughts behind Florida’s poor sleep habits is tourism. And this would explain why Hawaii is also a state for bad sleep.
Tourism is great for Florida’s economy, but it does leave many Floridians working odd hours to support the tourism industry. Shift work could be to blame.
A typical shift worker in the tourism industry may have one week of day shift work, from 9 am to 5 pm or 6 pm. Then the following week that same worker may be on swing shift, 3 pm to 11 pm or later.
Shift work makes getting eight hours of regular sleep nearly impossible
For those working in one of Florida’s many restaurants, there are plenty of double shifts, plus many Florida workers may be staying at work until 1 am to 3 am, long after the business closes.
And changing shifts every week can have a serious negative impact on sleep, since getting a schedule for regular sleep can be very challenging.
“It’s difficult to coordinate that and get the full eight hours of sleep,” Sleep Lab Supervisor at Bay Medical Sacred Heart, Pamella Taylor, explained.”
Working isn’t the only issue — Tourism and high congestion play a role too
Tourism season causes sporadic changes in shift work for Florida locals, but there are other factors in the potential lack of sleep among Floridians. The stress of navigating tourist congestion can add to poor sleep as well.
“When all the people are down here to vacation and it causes a lot of traffic congestion, and lines in stores, restaurants and everywhere you go,” a Bay County resident explained.
However, this same resident also knows the ins and outs to get better sleep. This Bay County resident also said, “We have found this to be probably the most relaxing place that we’ve ever traveled to and that’s why we moved here.”
So how can Floridians get better sleep? Let’s take a look at a few sleep pointers from the pros.
Top 3 tips Floridians can use for better sleep
1. Get a better mattress to help you sleep better
The type of mattress you have could make a huge difference when it comes to getting a better night’s sleep. This is especially true for those of us living in Florida.
It can be pretty hot and sticky at night, and running the air conditioning can be costly. To combat this, you can invest in a cooling mattress.
A cooling mattress can keep you cool and cozy on even the most humid of Florida nights. And they are affordable, especially when you consider the benefits better sleep provides you.
2. Cut back on digital device time
The blue light that smartphones, laptops, and tablets emit can be causing you to not sleep well. To ensure you are not getting more blue light than you should, make a rule not to be on your phone, laptop, or tablet one to two hours before bed.
This can help greatly with how fast you fall asleep. If you must be on your digital device before bed, lower the blue light in your device in the settings.
3. Reduce your caffeine intake during the day, and especially at night
It can definitely be difficult to do this tip for better sleep, especially if you are working long hours during the tourism season. However, if you want better sleep, it is important to reduce your caffeine intake during the day, and even eliminate it at night. This allows your body to naturally come down after your shift, thus helping you sleep better.
In conclusion . . .
Getting better sleep is a must if you want to be healthier and happier. Yes, this can be difficult for Floridians. Tourism stress, long hours, shifts that change weekly, and other Florida-centric issues can be the culprit for poor sleep habits.
But with a bit of research and discipline, you may find it easier to sleep and get the seven to eight hours your body and mind needs.
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