Wake-Up Call: America’s Sleep Crisis Exposes a Nation Running on Empty

Americans across the country are feeling the after-effects of the “rise and grind” mindset that has gripped the nation. A new poll by Gallup has revealed some insights into the average Joe’s sleeping habits – and many of us will be able to relate to them. 

Sleepless in America

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The U.S. could be one of the sleepiest countries in the world, according to a new Gallup poll.

Majority of Americans Crave More Shut-Eye

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While the U.S. is a country of early-birds, eager to get the worm, it seems like those early-birds are beginning to feel the strain, with the poll finding that the majority of Americans don’t get the amount of sleep that they would like.

Sleep Satisfaction

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The poll asked, “Do you think the number of hours sleep you get at night is as much sleep as you need, or do you think you would feel better if you could get more sleep?”

A National Lack of Sleep

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This is the first time since 2001 that poll respondents have indicated they weren’t sleeping enough – with 57% stating they would feel better if they got more sleep and 42% saying they were satisfied with the sleep they get.

Changing Trends

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It’s a big change from 2013 when 56% said they were satisfied with the sleep they got, and 43% said they weren’t.

Demographic Divide

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Demographically it was younger women under 50, who were most likely to report not sleeping enough, with 27% of young women satisfied with their sleep compared to 44% of women over 50.

Gender Gap

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46% of younger guys reported getting adequate sleep, while 51% of men over 50 also reported that they got enough sleep – the highest of any cohort polled.

Sleep Satisfaction Declines Among Younger Women

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Younger women are having a tougher time getting enough sleep compared to younger men, especially when we look at the numbers over the years. In 2023, young women aged 18 to 49 were lagging behind men by 19 points when it came to getting enough shut-eye. But, for those aged 50 and up, the gender gap was smaller, only seven points.

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Changing Habits

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Over the years, fewer young women are getting the sleep they need, while there’s only been a small drop for young men.

A Tired Nation

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Back in 2001, 54% of younger guys said they were getting enough sleep, but now it’s down to 46%. Meanwhile, for younger women, it’s gone from 42% in 2001 to just 27% today.

Ideal Sleep Time

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Doctors recommend eight hours of sleep for health and wellness reasons, but the poll found that only 26% of respondents – both male and female – were hitting this level of sleep daily. 53% of people reported sleeping between six to seven hours, and 20% less than five.

Stress Factor

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As for why America is seeing this change in sleeping habits, the poll points to something that might not surprise you – stress. Those who sleep less are typically more stressed in life, and the poll backs this up.

Sleep Deprivation and Stress

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63% of people who wanted more sleep reported feeling stressed frequently, while only 31% of people who reported getting enough sleep said the same.

Rising Stress Levels

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Stress has been on a steady incline over the past 30 years, according to Gallup’s data. Their latest polls reveal that 49% of Americans frequently feel stress – the highest figure on their records to date.

A Vicious Cycle

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This figure is up 16% since 2003, and the data shows it seems to be rising in tandem with Americans getting less sleep.

Gender Stress Gap

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The past few years have seen the gender stress gap increase, although it has fluctuated over time.

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Women Report Higher Stress Levels

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Nowadays, 45% of men and 53% of women say they experience stress on a regular basis, up from 28% of men and 38% of women in 2003.

Sleep Patterns Over the Decades

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According to Sarah Fioroni, a senior Gallup researcher, American levels of sleep are at an almost unheard-of level. She said, “That five hours or less category … was almost not really heard of in 1942. There’s almost nobody that said they slept five hours or less.”

Evolution of Sleep Norms in America

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The whole “sleep is for the weak” mentality did a number on the nation’s sleep quality, as people chose to wake up early and work themselves to the bone rather than get the sleep necessary for their physical and mental health.

Shifting Attitudes Toward Sleep Importance

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It’s only recently that more Americans are understanding the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. So if you’re feeling tired all the time, you’re not alone – and it might be time to prioritize sleep a little more.

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The post Rise and Grind Wake-up Call: America’s Sleep Crisis Reaches New Depths first appeared on Hello Positive Mindset.

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For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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