Sleepless states

The Americans losing sleep over the pandemic

A good night’s sleep is incredibly important to maintain your optimal health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, in the modern world there is a lot that can interfere with natural sleep patterns. From late night screen time to improper diet, some aspects of our lifestyles can often leave us feeling tired, irritable, and unable to concentrate. And with the world changing forever last year because of the pandemic, added stresses have made it even more challenging to get a good night’s rest.

We’ve investigated Google search data over the course of the past year to reveal the most common issues keeping Americans up at night. In addition, we’ve also highlighted some of the most frequently asked questions, causes and remedies.

‘Insonmia’ is the most searched for sleep ailment nationwide, racking up 7.7 million searches over the last year

Alcohol is the top cause of sleep problems in America, followed by depression and anxiety

The snoring of our partners is making the pandemic more unbearable, with searches for ‘anti-snore pillow’ up by 125% year on year

Searches by state

We’ve split the findings at a state level, to see who is struggling the most. Explore the map and table below to see which states are driving the most volume per 10,000 people.


Sleep apnea{{stateObj.sleep_apnea}}
Sleep paralysis{{stateObj.sleep_paralysis}}
Restless legs syndrome{{stateObj.rls}}
Night terrors{{stateObj.night_terrors}}
Sleep walking{{stateObj.sleep_walking}}
Sleep apnea
Sleep paralysis
Restless legs syndrome
Night terrors
Sleep walking

D.C. is struggling with sleep the most, ranking the highest for all the topics we analyzed

Those in Wyoming are the most likely to be getting a good night’s sleep, with this state having searched for the topics the least

Sleep apnea and insomnia are the most common sleeping ailments state-wide

The US Overall

This table shows the top 10 most searched for issues that can commonly affect our sleep, looking at figures from June 2020 to June 2021. Insomnia and sleep apnea are what Americans are struggling with the most, along with narcolepsy and sleep paralysis.

Term Search vol (2020 - 2021)
sleep apnea 5,854,500
narcolepsy 3,863,700
sleep paralysis 3,858,000
sleep walking 3,858,000
restless legs 3,553,200
night sweats 1,357,500
nightmares 1,044,500
night terrors 767,000
snoring 498,500

Terms overall - How have they changed over time?

We’ve broken down searches for some of the most common issues by month to chart just how much the pandemic has impacted how the country searches for topics around sleep.


Searches for insomnia peaked in April of last year, not long after worldwide lockdowns began to start taking place. While the figures remained flat for much of the latter half of 2020, the new year brought about another spike to almost 7 million monthly searches. However, with some semblance of normality now restored, searches are at their lowest point since February 2020.

Sleep apnea

Looking at average monthly searches for ‘sleep apnea’, it’s clear that the pandemic has not influenced searches for this topic that much. Searches have remained consistent for much of the last year, seeing only two spikes this January and March. Generally, a sleep apnea is caused by issues such as obesity, smoking and drinking, or sleeping on your back, as opposed to stress or anxieties.


Searches for ‘nightmares’ have fluctuated over the last 18 months, reaching a peak at several points including April of last year at the height of lockdown. The figures are at their lowest in the summer months, or times of celebration such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.


April of last year went against the downward trend, with searches for ‘snoring’ reaching a peak of around 50,000 searches on average. With stress leading to snoring in some cases, the arrival of covid looks to have impacted the amount of volume over this time. The term next reached its peak in January of this year in the wake of all those festive indulgences.

Causes and remedies

When it comes to the root of our sleeping problems, it appears that alcohol is among the biggest external factors, with 11,680 people asking if alcohol causes insomnia. There is also a common theme of asking whether depression, anxiety, or certain kinds of medication can lead to sleep troubles as a result.

As for remedies, the anti-snore pillow was the most searched for by some distance, with 82,810 people looking for one of these for either themselves or partner. Yoga and meditation also proved popular, with the health and wellbeing benefits of these forms of activity having a direct link with the quality of our sleep.

Causes Search vol (2020 - 2021)
does depression cause insomnia 4,870
does alcohol cause insomnia 4,190
does menopause cause insomnia 2,840
does diabetes cause insomnia 1,620
does stress cause insomnia 1,340
do statins cause insomnia 1,050
does caffeine cause insomnia 910
does smoking cause insomnia 880
do beta blockers cause insomnia 790
Remedies Search vol (2020 - 2021)
melatonin for insomnia 17,230
meditation for insomnia 14,600
acupuncture for insomnia 10,960
can magnesium help you sleep 15,920
hypnosis for insomnia 5,560
yoga for insomnia 4,490
5 htp for insomnia 1,950
valerian for insomnia 2,080
L-theanine for insomnia 1120

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Data methodology:

-We ran a list of over 150 sleep-related terms through Google’s Keyword Planner. Stats apply to the most recent 12-month period available on KP at the time of writing (Jun 2020 - Jun 2021), where not stated otherwise.
-All stats for individual states have been calculated on a per capita basis.

Data cavetas:

-‘Insomnia’ per capita stats also include ‘why can’t I sleep’, ‘why can’t I fall asleep’ and ‘symptoms of insomnia’.
-‘Sleep apnea’ per capita stats also includes ‘symptoms of’. ‘Narcolepsy’ per capita stats also includes ‘symptoms of’.
-‘Restless legs syndrome’ per capita stats also includes ‘restless legs’ and ‘symptoms of’.
-Search volumes around causes and remedies are low, as there seems to be a trend for searching more generally around ‘top natural remedies’ or ‘causes of insomnia’. We have only taken search volumes where a specific remedy/cause has been identified. For both, search totals include related searches around the same topic (marked with *).
2020 - 2021 search volumes are from June to June

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