Hey, Illinoisans--turn off the lights and put down your phones. You're not getting enough sleep!
Jawbone, the creators of a fitness-tracking bracelet, tracked the bedtimes of 1 million of the bracelet's wearers across the U.S. by county. According to the maps, most Illinoisans are going to be bed between 11 p.m. and 11:40 p.m. every night and getting between 6.75 and 7.25 hours of sleep every night.
Illinoisans generally have bedtimes that fall in the middle of when most of the rest of the country goes to sleep. The state as a whole does not go to sleep particularly late or early. In general, people on the East Coast tended to go to bed later, and people on the West Coast tended to go bed earlier.
There is some variation on the bedtime patterns from coast to coast. Jawbone explained that this is because sunlight, not just what time the clock says, has a direct effect on our circadian rhythms. People on the western edges of any given time zone tend to go to bed later than their counterparts on the eastern edge of the same time zones.
In this map, it's also clear how our sleep can be shaped by daylight. On the westerns extremes of time zones, people tend to go to bed later, and on the eastern edges they go to bed earlier (for example, look at the Central Time Zone). The starkest difference can be seen on the Kentucky/Tennessee borders between Eastern Time and Central Time, splitting the states in half (pictured above). The average difference in bedtime across the time zone border is 16 min (excluding Hamilton County, TN, since it contains Chattanooga), and some places it's as high as 30 minutes. But why?
Imagine two people in Kentucky, very close to each other but on opposites sides of the time zone border. If they both go to bed 4 hours after the sun goes down, their clocks will say that the person in Eastern Time went to bed one hour later than the person in Central Time.
Now let's look at the Central Time Zone. It's 6pm, and the sun has gone down in the middle of Kentucky. It's also 6pm in western Kansas, almost 1000 miles away, but the sun will not go down for another hour. So people go to bed later in the western edge of the timezone than the eastern edge.
So, Illinois' position as both on the eastern-to-middle end of the Central Time Zone and its location in the Midwest means that Illinoisans generally go to bed a moderate time.
Illinois had a smaller spread of bedtimes across the state than some other states did. According to Jawbone, most people in Illinois go to sleep within a 36-minute window. But in Nevada, for example many people may go to sleep as early as 10:55 or as late as 11:49. Many states in the southwest, however, have bedtime spreads less than 20 minutes for the whole state.
According to Jawbone, people who live in New York City (specifically, Kings County in Brooklyn) go to bed the latest, at 12:07 a.m. According to the map, three counties in New Mexico and Arizona go to sleep the earliest, at 10:35.
Here are the counties that go to bed earliest in Illinois:
1. Shelby 10:57
2. Moultrie 10:57
3. Douglas 11:01
4. DeWitt 11:01
5. Macon 11:02
Check out which counties in Illinois go to bed the latest at Reboot Illinois. The answers might surprise you. Plus, see how Chicagoans sleep patterns changed over the course of a whole year.
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