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Are Americans getting enough shuteye?

“Today” show host Katie Couric kicks off the show's week-long sleep series with eye-opening results from the National Sleep Foundation.
/ Source: TODAY

Perhaps you are jetlagged or maybe you were up all night with your children — either way, we are all products of a 24/7, over-stimulated and over-scheduled lifestyle. And sometimes there's just not enough time in the day to sleep. For part one of the special series, “Sleep from A to Zzzzz,” “Today” show host Katie Couric reports on a National Sleep Foundation survey.

Sleep — we all love it, but few of us get enough of it.

[Sixteen Candles] “Jennie, Mark, Sarah, Sam! Come on everybody get up.

Many sleep experts still recommend we get an average of seven to eight hours of sleep every night, but the National Sleep Foundation is quick to point out that nowadays we're getting less and less.

In 2001, 38% of adults said they slept eight hours or more a night. Last year, only 26% of us were sleeping eight or more hours. That's down 12%.

We sounded the alarm across the country to find out who out there is really getting enough sleep.

Geordi Strong from Los Angeles: I don't get enough sleep at night. Mark Krekeler from Chicago: I get about four hours. Charla Willian from Chicago: Most people probably don't have time for seven or eight. Kim Skipper from Chicago: I have two young boys, 3 and 6, so my nights are a little sleepless sometimes.

We've become a sleep-deprived nation. Half of those surveyed told the National Sleep Foundation they wake up feeling “tired, fatigued or not up to par” at least once a week, which leads us to ...

Carolyn London from New York: CoffeeDaxesh Bhavsar from Los Angeles: On average, [of] caffeinated drinks, I'd say I have about 4 to 5 throughout the day.Andrea Krawietz from Los Angeles: Oh yeah, I drink a lot of coffee if I don't get enough sleep.Noreen Nanoun from Chicago: I drink a lot of Red Bull sometimes.Marlene Addison from Chicago: I have to watch how much caffeine I take in late at night otherwise I get up about two in the morning and can't get back to bed.

Many don't realize coffee during the day can actually be the cause of sleepless nights. One reason why as many as 75% of Americans have reported sleeping problems at least a few nights per week.

Participant from Miami: Sometimes I find myself thinking and thinking and I tell myself, either get up and do something about it or go back to sleep.

While the restless are left counting sheep, those selling sleep aids are counting bucks — big bucks — as part of a growing industry pitching products and advice.

[Ambien commercial] “Because sleep doesn't always come easy.”

Millions sleep-walking through the day because they don't sleep at night.