Most of Us Don’t Get Enough Sleep, and It’s Costing Us — Literally
How tired are you right now?
If you’re like many people, you’d probably like a nap and may even be chronically overtired.
School, hectic work schedules, fussy babies, stress and a myriad of other things contribute to sleep debt. Even working from home can take its toll on the amount of sleep we get.
To make matters worse, advice on becoming more productive often centers around getting up earlier in the morning to get more out of your day.
In fact, rising early to prove your ambition is quickly becoming an unhealthy competition. It’s not enough anymore to get up at 6 a.m. or even to pop out of bed at 5 a.m. Now some people boast about waking up at 4 a.m to get a start on their day.
What’s next? Sleep standing up in the corner from 1 to 1:45 a.m.?
Getting up before the roosters is fine if you’re going to bed early enough to get the recommended hours of sleep, but many people don’t do that. After all, Netflix isn’t going to watch itself.
If you need a nudge to get a good night’s sleep, how about this.
A chronic sleep deficit can cost you big bucks.
How Sleep Deprivation Costs You Money
There are lots of little ways that sleep debt adds up to monetary debt. For instance, we’re more likely to order takeout for dinner or shop at expensive convenience stores when we’re overtired.
But a chronic sleep deficit can also impact your wallet in bigger way.
“Study after study has revealed that people who sleep poorly are at greater risk for a number of diseases and health problems,” the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School says. That can lead to ongoing and expensive health care treatments, and huge medical bills are no joke.
Sleep deprivation can also adversely affect your work performance, which could get you passed over for promotions and raises.
In fact, “the negative effects of sleep deprivation are so great that people who are drunk outperform those lacking sleep,” writes organizational psychologist Travis Bradberry. Not a good look if you want to move up the company ladder.
Driving while drowsy also increases your chances of an auto accident. According to the National Sleep Foundation, around 100,000 crashes each year are a direct result of driver fatigue. Car repairs, moving violation fines and increased insurance premiums can take a huge toll on your budget.
How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Keep these tips in mind to get the best sleep possible and wake up feeling like you’ve won the lottery.
- Stay away from your television, smartphone and tablet for at least an hour before you turn in. The light they emit is proven to promote wakefulness.
- Make your bedroom a sanctuary with great bedding, comfortable pillows and light-blocking drapes.
- Avoid long naps during the day so you’re nice and tired at bedtime.
- Make time for exercise every day to improve both the quality and quantity of deep sleep.
- Cut back on your caffeine intake throughout the day and eliminate it altogether at least six hours before bed.
- Consider turning on a white noise machine to drown out noise that might keep you awake or interfere with sleep. Or try a free white noise generator app from GooglePlay or Apple’s App Store.
Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s perpetually exhausted so do as she says, not as she does.