At what point in your sleepless night do you give in and reach for your phone?
Kept awake by discomfort, traffic noise, or a troubled mind, you want to scream about it to somebody. But your partner and neighbours wouldn’t like that. So you pick up your phone. Maybe you’ll scroll the news and Instagram for a while. But first, you need to tweet out your frustration.
Insomnia is stressful. In fact, there is a long history of sleep deprivation used as literal torture. As early as the 19th century, sleep scientists linked insomnia with “severe psychic disturbances such as delirium, hallucinations and emotional disruption” (yep, sounds like Twitter). But even today, poor sleep continues to contribute to health problems and even death.
Sleep and sleeplessness are universal needs – but some countries have worse nights than others. Morning Life decided to see where in the world sleeplessness causes the most stress. We used a research tool called TensiStrength to measure the stress levels in sleep- and snoring-related tweets from around the world.
- Chile is the country with the most stressful night’s sleep, with 59.13% of sleep-related tweets exhibiting stress.
- The world’s most insomnia-stressed city is Rochester, New York, with 55.21% stress rate.
- Alabama is the American state with the highest sleep stress rate: 63.43%.
- Liverpool and Manchester in the UK are cities with the second and third most insomnia-stressed citizens in the world (53.92% and 51.21% respectively).
- However, the UK as a whole is number 24 in the world for stressful sleeping, with a 47.01% stress rate.
England’s Northwest Cities Rival New York for Sleeplessness
British and American cities dominate the top 10 worst cities for sleep. “Hey body it’s cool you wanted to go to bed by 9,” remarks one resident of Rochester, New York, “but getting up at 1:15 and not letting me go back to sleep is rude.”
Rochester (55.21%) is home to the world’s most stressed insomniacs – but the northwest of the UK is wide awake and tweeting, too. Liverpool and Manchester battle for second-place honours, perhaps kept awake by the echo of the industrial revolution, bright lights and all. However, there could be another cause: “I snore so loud you’d just punch me in the face and pretend I was having a bad dream,” declares one Mancunian.
And the sleepy end of the table? Cairo is the third least sleep-stressed city in the world, despite once ranking as the “most 24-hour” of all cities. Indeed, African cities are snoozing up against American ones in most of the top spots. The exception is the world’s most peacefully sleeping city: Cali, Colombia, with a stress rate of just 33.93%. “woke up feeling grateful,” says resident @VirtualJoey.
Latin America Sleeps Unsoundly, Caribbeans Take It Easy
Cali may have the happiest sleepers, but Latin America, in general, is finding it a struggle. Chile is the country with the most stressed insomniacs in the world, and Venezuela, Panama, and Ecuador aren’t far behind. “me: I will sleep at a normal hour tonight!” begins @ARealBigYawn in Chile, concluding: “my body: no. suffer.”
Caribbean, Asian, and Middle-Eastern countries form the snooziest regions on our map. Haiti is the least stressed about sleep by quite a jump – only 12.5% of Haitian tweets are stressed, compared to 19.51% for second calmest Bahrain. It’s not all easy, though: “slept at 12 tonight as an attempt to fix my sleep schedule,” says @fadely195 in Bahrain, “and here i am tweeting at 2 45 am.”
And the UK? Of 108 countries with available data, the UK is the 24th most stressed, according to Twitter. But the bedroom is not the only place where sleep must be grappled with: “Fighting your sleep in church is a different kinda fight 😭,” declares Londoner @Jaytheofficialx.
Alabama Is Tired-Tweeting More Than Any Other State
The east coast/west coast divide is pretty even when it comes to stressing about sleep. However, CDC research shows that sleeplessness is a particularly east coast phenomenon. In other words, the likes of Washington, Idaho, and Montana are stressing for no good reason (though Nevada’s high stress rate is genuinely linked to a low sleep rate).
Alabama, America’s most stressed state at bedtime, is sandwiched between half a dozen of America’s most mellow states. The problem seems to be… other Alabamans. “Had to pop 3 Benadryl to fall asleep last night because of my mom and dad’s snoring,” moans one local.
How to Pour a “Delicious Bath of Oblivion”
“I would gladly exchange city life for that of the lonely backwoodsman,” wrote Albert Kimball, dentist, journalist, and noted insomniac in 1902. “[T]o purchase that blessed repose which nature vouchsafes to the weary, healthy body and the calm, unheated brain; the slumber of the tired child who drops into the delicious bath of oblivion as his head sinks into the soft embrace of the
Sounds good? Today, you don’t need to retrain as a lonely backwoodsman to get a good night’s sleep in the city. Firm windows, a well-selected mattress, and your favourite pillows can recreate that delicious bath of oblivion.
METHODOLOGY & SOURCES
We compiled a set of terms related to sleep, e.g.: sleep, slept, nap, woke up. Using these terms we pulled tweets using Twitter API and ran geotagged tweets through TensiStrength. We labelled tweets with a stress level from -2 to -5 as stressed, while tweets with stress levels equal to -1 were deemed not stressed. We then calculated the percentage of stressed tweets about sleep in every country, state and city. Data was collected in June 2021.