We know Americans are sleep deprived — but is their income partly to blame?

Perhaps, suggests the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers looked at the relationships between sleep and income level, as well as their effects on an estimated 35,000 households. The results showed 35 percent of people living around the federal poverty line (which New York Magazine’s Science of Us cited was $29,000 for a family of four in 2013) slept less than six hours per night.

On the other hand, only 25 percent of people living 400 percent above the poverty line ($94,000 for a family of four) slept less than six hours per night. While households from both metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas were included, researchers didn’t find any significant differences between the two, suggesting money makes more of a difference than location.

Science of Us pointed out the report is vague in that it doesn’t quite explain the link between income and sleep, and speculated people with low income do tend to work multiple jobs and spend more time commuting than those with high income, which could account for the sleep differences. In fact, The Washington Post cited a study that found “short sleepers,” or people who get less than six hours of sleep per night, tend to trade their shuteye for more time to do work. Multiple job holders were also “61 percent more likely than others to report sleeping 6 hours of less on weekdays.”

Whatever the case, getting an adequate amount of sleep per night continues to be a problem; The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. A lack of sleep impairs health, from poor attention and alertness, to increased chances of developing diseases, such as obesity and diabetes.

Poor sleep also impairs sex drive. A small study recently published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found women who sleep more on a given night experience greater sexual desire the next day. Sleep was also important for arousal, with women who sleep more experiencing fewer problems getting aroused than women who sleep less.

Obviously earning more income takes time and effort, But families might be able to get more sleep if they're more mindful of unsuspecting sleep thiefs, such as continually choosing to work late into the night on a smartphone or smart device that emits blue, melatonin-disrupting light.

Source: Black LI, and Gindi RM. QuickStats: Percentage of Adults Who Average ≤6 Hours of Sleep, by Family Income Group and Metropolitan Status of Residences — National Health Interview Survey, United States, 2013. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015.