Fewer Than Half Of Americans Get Enough Sleep

Woman with insomnia lying in bed with open eyes. Girl in bed suffering insomnia and sleep disorder thinking about his problem at night

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Feeling tired? Join the club!

For the first time ever, a Gallup poll on the nation's sleeping habits shows that the majority of Americans are not getting enough shut-eye, 1200 WOAI reports.

The reason most people are tossing and turning is due to stress, the poll found. University Health sleep specialist Dr. Suhaib Haq says the two things are closely related.

"Stress levels affect your sleep quality. And, at the same time, that feeds into more stress. It becomes a viscous cycle," he tells 1200 WOAI's Michael Board.

The poll, out this week, found that 57% of respondents said they need more sleep. Only 42% said they were getting enough rest. That's almost a complete reversal from the numbers found back in 2001. Women were worse off than men. That has not changed since this poll started.

Dr. Haq says the first step in breaking the cycle is to admit that there is a problem. Then, he says, people need to put their phones down at night time. Many who have trouble sleeping, he says, scroll through social media while snuggling into bed. That brings stress from news stores to posts from family.

"It becomes like a bad habit and it's hard to break. But it's not impossible."

Also, with the phone, he says there is a bright light. That tricks the brain into thinking it's day time and keeps your body awake.

the poll asked how many hours of sleep people were getting each night. Those who said they slept for less than five hours is up 20-percent.

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