The one big factor that unites nearly all Americans

By day, it can feel like America is more divided than ever before.

By night, there's something that unites us all.

None of us can sleep!

A new report shows just how much -- or rather, how little -- progress we've made in the bedroom in recent years.

Today, the average American spends four extra days per year asleep than they did 15 years ago.

But don't throw a slumber party yet.

That works out to an average of just 17 extra minutes per night... and most Americans STILL aren't getting nearly enough sleep.

Even worse, a full third of Americans are missing out on so much sleep that they're actually sleep-deprived.

You could be one of them without even realizing it. So many Americans have been falling short for so long that we're all starting to forget what a good night of sleep really is!

People have become conditioned to waking up groggy and not "feeling right" until they've chugged some coffee.

If that sounds a little too familiar, it's time to make some changes -- because lost sleep is more than just a recipe for an unhealthy caffeine dependency.

Missing out on sleep regularly can increase your risk of serious health problems including obesity, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and diabetes.

It could also hit you upstairs, slamming your brain in two dangerous ways.

There's the immediate risk of grogginess, which can lead to everything from poor decisions to accidents.

Then there's the long-haul risk of missed sleep: cognitive struggles and even dementia.

Poor sleepers even have a higher risk of cancer!

All of those risks are completely unnecessary, as sleep improvements are some of the easiest to make.

I know that it doesn't SEEM that way when you're tossing and turning in bed, so desperate for rest that you might consider turning to sleep meds.

But it is -- if you look in the right places.

The first place is around you. Make sure you're don't have bad habits that can harm sleep, including evening caffeine, alcohol, and using digital devices before (or in) bed.

The second is inside you. Make sure your body has what it needs for a full night of rest, starting with melatonin. That's often called the "sleep hormone" and for good reason: Your body uses it as a signal for sleep.

Many people -- especially older folks -- often struggle to produce the melatonin they need, which keeps the brain on "alert" even when your head is on a pillow.

Melatonin supplements can help fix that deficiency so that your brain kicks into sleep mode and you get the rest you need... and if you do it right, you'll get more than just 17 minutes.

You'll get a full night of shuteye, every night.