They call New York "The City That Never Sleeps," but is that really true?
Traveling is a great way to get to know the United States, but what if you won't be able to get a good night's rest once you reach your destination?
The good news is that most hotels do a pretty solid job of creating good conditions for sleep. That includes sound-proofing, and having comfortable beds and light-blocking curtains to keep out the sun — and the neon glare of the big city.
Still, some urban centers are better than others when it comes to getting your 40 winks. Here's your guide to the best and worst places in America to drift off.
Sleep Country, USA
Need to get away? Try these cities for a vacation that's designed to let you rest, relax and snooze your way to happiness.
- Charlotte, NC: The researchers at Real Age have ruled the the Queen City is the overall best place in the country to get a good night's rest. Residents here do better than any other major U.S. city when it comes to getting a full seven to eight hours of sleep each night, so they must be doing something right.
- Durham, NC: The Tar Heel State knows what it's doing when it comes to sleep. Durham tops the list as the country's quietest metropolitan area. In addition to lovely neighborhoods, Southern comfort food and summertime minor league baseball, you'll wake up well rested here.
- Flagstaff, AZ: This jumping-off point for Grand Canyon hikers is dedicated to putting an end to light pollution so residents can enjoy that starry desert sky. It's the first designated International Dark Sky Space, so you won't have to worry about too much light wreaking havoc on your circadian rhythms when you visit.
No Rest for the Weary
If getting your full eight hours of sleep is a priority even on vacation, you'll want to avoid these destinations.
- Detroit, MI: Detroit has had a rough time of it lately, and its troubles appear to be stressing out residents, who score the worst on overall sleep according to a recent survey of data conducted by Ambien researchers. This study also included measures of overall happiness and economic issues, so it may be easier to fall asleep as a visitor than as a resident.
- Houston, TX: They say everything is bigger and better in Texas, but it looks like it's also louder. Houston is the noisiest city in the country, thanks in part to a lack of regulation that lets industrial zones mix it up with residential areas.
- Las Vegas, NV: NASA has decreed that Vegas is the brightest spot in the world based on their photos from space. This isn't particularly shocking given all those neon lights on the Strip, and it's also a city known for late-night revelries of all sorts. It's lots of fun, but you won't exactly sleep well here.
And what about New York? It's a loud place that's also part of a big corridor of light pollution on the East Coast that runs from Washington, DC to Boston, so it's not exactly a haven for sleep-deprived folks looking for relief. In fact, no city will be as dark or quiet as the country, but you can still choose a spot that gets high marks on the sleep scale when you plan your next trip.