An new study found Americans are sleeping less, which is painting an alarming picture about the overall health of the nation.

A single night of bad rest has been found to negatively impact one's mood and cognitive functions, such as focusing and reacting. The National Institutes of Health said a continued lack of sleep can trigger greater, and sometimes irreversible health problems.

Studies have linked sleep deficiency with heart and kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension, and stroke.

A new Gallup poll looked into how much rest Americans are getting and found that even less of us are sleeping the recommended amount per night.

Getting Enough Sleep Is a Dream for Many Americans

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A new Gallup poll found a majority of Americans are not sleeping enough. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they wish they could get more sleep each night. Conversely, 42% of pollsters said they are sleeping enough.

This is a complete 180 from what Gallup's 2013 poll found. It also marks the first time since 2001 that less Americans are feeling well rested.

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The new results found that 26 percent of respondents are able to sleep the recommended 8 hours a night, or more. That 8-hour mark has been scientifically proven to benefit health and mental wellness.

About 52% said they sleep between six to 7 hours, while 20% admitted to sleeping five hours or less - which is a jump from the 14% found in 2013's poll.

The group that had the least amount of reported sleep was women under the age of 50.

What Does This Mean?

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This Gallup poll has found that this is possibly the worst Americans have ever slept. During the height of World War II, almost 60% of respondents said in 1942 that they slept 8 or more hours.

While the results were concerning, not many could explain why Americans are sleeping less in 2024 than in 1942.

Possible theories include the pandemic, Russia's war with Ukraine, rising tensions in the Middle East, inflation, the crisis at the border, and other hot-button political topics.

But not everyone is plugged into the news, which has others looking into the overall work/life balance of Americans, as well as their economic power.

However, the biggest culprit appears to be America's culture. The country emphasizes productivity and efficiency, which causes people to work harder for longer. Did your parents say you need to "put your nose to the grindstone" and you'd reap the benefits?

That practice may have worked back in the day, but a growing number of Americans feel that outlook is outdated and counterproductive.

Why You Need to Sleep More

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The NIH stresses that Americans need to actively set a goal to obtain 8 hours of sleep per night, as a good night's rest " is vital for mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety."

It also helps balance one's emotions, better stabilize moods, and increase mental clarity. It also reduces one's urge to overeat, as the human body will seek calories to burn for energy in the event of a rough night's sleep.

Meaning, if you're struggling to lose weight, you might have to ask yourself if you are getting enough rest.

The NIH also found that the chance of injury is greatly increased among all age groups suffering from sleep deficiency. In older adults, the risk for falls and broken bones is elevated.

"Sleep deficiency has also played a role in human mistakes linked to tragic accidents, such as nuclear reactor meltdowns, grounding of large ships, and plane crashes," the agency warned.

The NIH said also it's been debunked that a person can train their body to sustain on little sleep without consequences.

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