For people who have chosen to live in the City That Never Sleeps, we sure do complain about it a lot. Whatever the reason – not enough time in the day, nightmares, construction workers with jackhammers at 6 a.m., partners snoring like grizzly bears, working late – we love to lament our lack of sleep.
In New York, sleeplessness is almost a source of pride – it means you’re gritty, tough, important. It ups your credibility as a Real New Yorker, someone who doesn’t scream at the sight of Twinkie-sized cockroaches nor $20 cocktails.
"There’s a reason why people live in New York, right?" said Manoush Zomorodi, host of New York public radio station WNYC’s show New Tech City. "They like things to be busy and active."
But we may not be as sleep deprived as we think. In April, WNYC launched the Clock Your Sleep project. More than 4,500 people tracked their sleep for a month, logging almost 42,000 nights of zzzs among them. The results are nothing to whine about: Participants averaged seven hours of sleep on weeknights and seven and a half hours on weekends. Compare this to the 40 percent of people nationwide who are getting less than seven hours of nightly sleep, according to a 2013 Gallup poll, and New Yorkers lose some of their grit.
So why do we think we’re not getting enough rest?
“I think it’s about [sleep] quality, and it’s hard to get quality in a place where there’s light everywhere and there’s noise everywhere and there are things to do all the time," said Zomorodi, who is also the leader of team “Digital Detox” for part two of the Clock Your Sleep project.