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Survey finds average U.S. adult feels tired at least three days a week

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Washington — If you’re feeling tired, you’re not alone. On average, U.S. adults feel sleepy three days a week – affecting their mood, mental acuity, productivity and more, results of a recent survey suggest.

National polling firm Ipsos Public Affairs, on behalf of the National Sleep Foundation, surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. adults about their sleep habits, practices and routines.

Around half of respondents reported feeling tired between three and seven days a week. The results also reveal a gender gap: Women were sleepy an average of 3.4 days a week; men were tired 2.7 days, on average.

Only 16% of respondents reported not feeling sleepy at all during a typical week.

Sleepiness, cited by 58% of all respondents, most commonly affected respondents’ mood, followed by the willingness to go out in the evening (52%), ability to focus (48%) and exercise (47%), and productivity (46%). The most common coping strategy is to “shake it off and keep going,” (62% of respondents), followed by getting fresh air (35%), drinking coffee (33%) and taking a nap (31%).

“Sleepiness isn’t normal,” Patrick Strollo, a professor of medicine and clinical and translational science at the University of Pittsburgh, said in a March 7 press release. “If you experience routine sleepiness, you should address it. These data suggest that people continue to avoid sleepiness as a symptom.”

NSF recommends working-age adults get seven to nine hours of sleep a night, while older adults should get seven to eight hours. Tips to improve your sleep include using an app or wearable device that tracks your sleep. Then, work to get a good night’s sleep by sticking to a sleep schedule – even on weekends – and practice a relaxing bedtime ritual.

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