According to the CDC, around 83.6 million U.S. adults are getting less than the recommended 7 hours of sleep per night. There are many things that could be causing this loss of shuteye, such as health issues, depression, and work obligations. However, a recent survey discovered a link between sleep deprivation and financial worries.
This survey asked 1,000 Americans how many hours of sleep they got per night and how much anxiety they experienced over their finances. The results showed that Americans with more than $60,000 in debt were more likely to report an average of only five hours of sleep per night and a lower quality of sleep. This means that financial stress could be profiting many Americans from finding adequate sleep.
If your financial concerns are keeping you up at night, our list of tips below may help to ease your mind.
Finding The Cause
Fear of the unknown is often at the root of stress and anxiety. If you are someone who avoids confronting your finances, this can often make stress even worse. When it comes to your finances, “being in the know” is far better than worrying over what might be.
Consider getting a clearer picture of your current financial situation. This will help you identify the specific reason for your worry. For example, if you frequently worry about bills, take stock of your current income, all financial obligations, and spending habits. Having this information will help you feel more aware and in control of your money.
When you have a better understanding of where you are financially, you can begin to consider your financial goals and create a plan for reaching them. When reviewing your finances, you may identify areas of unnecessary spending that could be eliminated. By eliminating this excess spending, you may free up funds that could be used to achieve financial goals, such as paying down debt, starting a savings account, or planning for retirement.
Create A Budget
After taking stock of your finances and setting goals, you will want to consider creating a budget. A budget will help you live within your means, allow you to spend within a set limit, and help to reduce compulsive worry over money. The budget should include all spending, such as bills, groceries, transportation, living essentials, etc. Be sure to create a budget that is realistic and practical. That way, you will be more likely to stick to it.
Automate Your Bills
With your goals in mind, automatic monthly payments can go a long way in helping you achieve them. For example, you can set up automatic payments to go toward a savings account or retirement plan.. Automatic payments can help you stay on track and ensure you reach your goals on time.
Since studies show that delinquent payments could factor into nighttime stress and poor sleep quality, you may also want to consider automatic payments for your regular monthly bills. Americans behind on payments reported being more likely to feel anxiety than those who were on time. Also, 85 percent of Americans behind on payments reported a greater sense of worry. By automating your bills, you ensure that all payments are made on time and that no late fees will be accrued.
Unexpected expenses can be a major source of financial stress. An emergency savings account can help to curb this worry. This savings account should be something you pay a set amount into each month and should be kept separate from other savings accounts. Over time, you will begin to view these payments like any other financial obligation and the loss of these funds will be less noticeable. Having emergency funds available can go a long way in reducing the worries over “what if” that may be keeping you up at night.
Consider Your Mattress
In addition to gaining control over your finances, evaluating your current mattress can also help you find a better night’s sleep. Sleeping on an unsupportive or broken down mattress could cause you to wake frequently throughout the night, resulting in a poor quality of sleep. Consider replacing your mattress with something more supportive and suited to your specific needs. A more comfortable mattress could be just what you need to reduce stress and find a better night’s sleep.
Improve Sleep Hygiene
According to the CDC, establishing good sleep habits can also help to improve your sleep. Consider incorporating some of the following into your nightly routine:
- Create a schedule – Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day will ensure you are getting the full recommended 7 hours of sleep.
- Temperature – Body temperature often drops as you sleep, so keeping your room at a cool temperature will help you sleep more soundly. You should aim to keep your bedroom between 60-67 degrees.
- Light – When possible, reduce exposure to light from all electronic devices, such as phones, televisions, and computers at least 2 hours before bed. This light can interfere with your body’s natural ability to produce melatonin which is necessary for helping your body prepare for sleep.
- Avoid large meals – Eating a large meal right before bed can cause your body to work hard at digestion. When your body is working to digest food, it is difficult for it to slow down and prepare for sleep.
- Get regular exercise – Physical activity performed during the day can help you fall asleep more quickly and sleep more soundly.
Sleep deprivation can have significant effects on our mental, physical, and emotional health. If financial stress is affecting your sleep, consider making some of these adjustments to reduce anxiety and help you sleep more soundly.