All of which furthermore begs the question as to why we're so unhappy here.
Time magazine couldn't figure it out either when they investigated last year's Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which back then rated Ohio as only 5th most miserable.
Apparently, even with our economy and job market much improved and the Buckeyes winning the National Championship, over the past year we've become even more miserable. Go figure, if you can.
Anyway, Time couldn't a year ago. Here' what the February, 21, 2014 article entitled "Here Are America's 5 Most Miserable States" had to say:
Despite its low well-being score, Ohio stands out from other low ranking states because it doesn’t exhibit many of the elements often present in those states. For one, Ohio’s median household income of $46,829 in 2012 was higher than most states with low well-being scores. Similarly, its residents had better access to basic needs than residents of other low well-being states. However, residents generally had low evaluations of their lives, trailing only West Virginia and Kentucky by that measure. Just 49.3% of respondents stated they were thriving in their lives last year, one of the lowest proportions in the nation. Relatively few respondents indicated they had a learning experience within the previous 24 hours, and residents were among the most likely in the U.S. to have felt angry that day. This contributed to Ohio’s low ranking for emotional health.
Actually, I'm pretty sure I've figured out the Ohio misery mystery.
I found the key in a piece of information in the 24/7 Wall St. report on this year's G-H W-B Index results.
Among the possible culprits responsible for our low happiness, like higher than average smoking and obesity rates, was this one: not getting enough sleep. Apparently we Ohioans are among the worst sleepers in the country, with 2 out of 5 adults claiming to get insufficient sleep.
On the other hand South Dakota, which was rated the 3rd happiest state this year is home to the best sleepers in the country.
That makes perfect sense, doesn't it?
You can't sleep. The next day you feel crummy. Your sleep-deprived blahness of disposition rubs off on those around you, even those who may have gotten sufficient sleep themselves, causing them to feel not great. Subsequently 2/5 of us can't sleep and we're all of us the more miserable for it.
I do 100% believe this proposition that Ohioans are among the worst sleepers in the country.
Think about it, my fellow Ohioans, how often does the subject of sleep creep into our conversations?
Me, all the time.
I mean, whenever you're socializing in a group for any length of time, after you've covered the weather and the Buckeyes and TV and movies, doesn't the subject of sleep invariably come up? It then turns into a survey of those of us who can't vs. those of us who can, right?.
Anyone I know well, I know whether or not they can sleep.
Among the Panera Posse, for example, of the 6 regular members I know that two are great sleepers, three are awful sleepers, and one sleeps pretty well most of the time.
I've been an awful sleeper most of my life. Tom is a wonderful sleeper. No matter what's going on in his life he never misses a wink. My children are so-so sleepers. My kids and I tend to be great nappers, though, if we ever get the opportunity.
So now I guess the only question left is: Why are we of the Buckeye State such miserable sleepers? Any ideas, anyone?
To Be Continued...
1. "Here Are America’s 5 Most Miserable States", Time, Feb. 21, 2014
2. "America’s Happiest (and Most Miserable) States",Thomas C. Frohlich and Mark Lieberman, 24/7 Wall St., February 20, 2015