Research reveals why the average American is so exhausted

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Research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of ZzzQuil PURE Zzzs examined how people deal with poor sleep. (Photo by Christian Erfurt on Unsplash)

The average American only gets 10 nights of perfect sleep in a month, according to new research.

A study of 2,000 Americans examining how people deal with poor sleep found that 67 percent would go to extreme lengths to get a night of good sleep.

It can’t be a surprise seeing as three in five revealed they have frequent trouble falling asleep, even though many admit to making common mistakes that hinder their slumber.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of ZzzQuil PURE Zzzs, found that 51 percent watch TV before or in bed, even though it tends to keep them up later.

Results found 45 percent will scroll on their phone, eat late or even have a cup of coffee before crawling under the covers.

Three in 10 have also been kept up by bumps in the night, thanks to reading or watching something scary.

With everything that can prevent people from catching those z’s, it’s easy to understand why people are on the hunt for supplements that help them fall asleep.

Two in five like to have herbal tea before getting some shut-eye, with men being 38 percent more likely to partake than women.

That wasn’t the only trick men employed in the search of sleep — they were also 47 percent more likely than women to turn on a salt lamp to help unwind before bed.

Just because it’s easy to fall asleep for some, doesn’t mean it can be simple to stay asleep. So, what do people do when they’re up in the middle of the night?

Over a quarter of respondents said they just stare at the ceiling in the hopes of drifting back to sleep, while four in 10 turn on the TV for a show or movie.

Other dead-of-the-night habits included getting a drink of water (34 percent), thinking of past regrets (23 percent) and switching positions in bed (38 percent).

Another common sleep supplement people look to is melatonin, which 67 percent of respondents have taken.

Despite the fact that the majority of people have used the supplement, only 35 percent knew that over-the-counter melatonin was based on one of our internal physiological hormones.

One in five respondents incorrectly thought melatonin came from a plant.

Even still of those who take melatonin, 21 percent take more than 5mg in a dose (8 percent take 9–10mg) — without knowing where it comes from.

A spokesperson from ZzzQuil PURE Zzzs said, “Internal melatonin production levels vary depending on age, but decrease as we get older. Healthy adults make between 100 to 200 picograms per milliliter of melatonin a night, so taking a 10mg dose of melatonin is ingesting over 100x the amount we naturally produce in our body. That’s why we mindfully formulated ZzzQuil PURE Zzzs with an optimal dose of melatonin (1–2mg) for no next day grogginess*.”

Melatonin supplements aren’t the only products where people are overlooking label instructions to see how much is safe to ingest.

Results found that 62 percent of people don’t read the label of a supplement or medication every time before they take a dose.

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Nearly four in 10 admit to taking more than the recommended daily dose of a supplement or medication — and half have ingested a tablet on an empty stomach.

A spokesperson from ZzzQuil PURE Zzzs added, “Melatonin is an excellent way to help yourself fall asleep naturally*, but it’s always important to read dosage instructions and consult with your doctor before use.”

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  1. Watch TV/movie 43%
  2. Switch positions in bed 38%
  3. Read a book 36%
  4. Scroll social media 36%
  5. Read online articles 34%
  6. Get a drink of water 34%
  7. Play phone games 32%
  8. Play video games 31%
  9. Take a walk outside 28%
  10. Stare at the ceiling 26%
  11. Go lay on the couch 25%
  12. Meditate 24%
  13. Walk around the home 24%
  14. Think of dream scenarios 24%
  15. Think of past regrets 23%
  16. Listen to a podcast 22%
  17. Stretch 19%
  18. Listen to white noise 19%
  19. Count sheep 16%
  20. Do taxes 15%
  21. Change pajamas 14%


  1. Natural sleep supplement 57%
  2. Physiological horomone 35%
  3. Chemical sleep aid 33%
  4. Plant 22%
  5. I don’t know 14%
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  1. Prescription sleep medication 42%
  2. Herbal tea 40%
  3. Blackout curtains 37%
  4. Meditation 35%
  5. New mattress 35%
  6. Sleep apps (meditations, sounds, etc.) 31%
  7. Essential oils 31%
  8. White noise/aromatherapy lotions 30%
  9. Eye mask 28%
  10. Face mask 27%
  11. Salt lamp 23%
  12. Weighted blanket 21%
  13. Podcasts 20%


  1. Watching TV before/in bed 51%
  2. Using phone or laptop before bed 45%
  3. Drinking coffee 45%
  4. Eating late 45%
  5. Read/watch something scary 32%

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.*

>> Download the video & infographic for this research story <<

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