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Feeling sleepy? You're not alone. According to new public-service ads from the National Sleep Foundation, 63 percent of Americans are not getting the recom mended eight hours of sleep each night, and 31 percent sleep fewer than seven hours a night.

Sure, some may find it ironic that people are spending their waking hours earning the tax dollars to fund studies that remind them they don't sleep enough. But the foundation's objective is nothing short of saving lives.

A print ad, created in-house, tells a tired nation: "When you burn the candle at both ends, it goes out too soon."

The ad includes a stern-looking, white-haired doctor (holding his glasses for extra sincerity), and reaches back to the California Department of Health's 1983 statistic on sleep deprivation to bring us this eye-opening news: The sleep-deprived have been found to have a far higher mortality rate.

NSF's Marcia Stein said the campaign, which will eventually include TV and radio ads, is no joke. "Sleep deprivation is real, dangerous and now more treatable than ever," she said.