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A majority of Americans say they are not getting enough sleep and that they would feel better if they did, according to a new Gallup poll. Concretely, 57% said this was the case for them, while 42% said they were getting enough sleep.

The poll figures show that over the past decade Americans' sleeping time has decreased substantially.

One in five said they currently get five hours or less of sleep every night, compared to 14% in 2013. 26% said they get eight or more hours a day, the lowest figure on record, and 53% that they get six to seven hours.

Fewer Americans are getting enough sleepGa
One in five Americans get five or fewer hours of sleep a day Gallup

The decrease is consistent for both men and women, but more among the latter say they are getting the sleep they need. Almost half of men (48%) say this is the case for them, the figure being 36% for women.

When it comes to age, those 65 and older are more prone to say they are getting enough sleep than their younger peers. And even though this is still the case, figures have been dropping across the fray.

"Younger women, at 27%, are much less likely than other age-by-gender groups to report getting adequate sleep. Younger men, at 46%, and older women, at 44%, are about equally likely to report getting adequate sleep, while older men, as is typical, are most likely to do so, with 51% getting the sleep they need in 2023," the report says.

The decreasing figures are likely to be causing increased stress to respondents, with the poll showing that Americans are more stressed at the moment than three decades ago.

"Over the past 30 years, the number of Americans who are stressed has been on a steady incline after a sharp drop in 2003. The most recent data show that nearly half of all Americans, 49%, report frequently experiencing stress, up 16 points over the past two decades and the highest in Gallup's trend to date," Gallup said.

As it happens with sleep, stress figures are higher for women. Last year over half of women (53%) reported frequently experiencing stress, compared to 45% of men.

Younger women reported the worst numbers, with 69% of those aged 18-49 giving an affirmative answer. In contrast, 34% of men aged 50 and over said this was the case for them. "This aligns with Gallup's data on mental health and wellbeing, which show that younger Americans and women seem to be suffering at greater rates," according to Gallup.

"Gallup polling and other research show a strong connection between sleep, stress, and overall health. Thus, the impact of both of these trends on Americans' health could be substantial," the report concludes.

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