Health Care Costs Keep an Alarming Number of Americans Awake at Night

Financial Stress
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When counting sheep won’t work and you’re laying awake at night, the thoughts racing through your mind will likely be money related.

According to a new CreditCards.com survey, that’s the case for most Americans, with 65% of us lie awake at night thinking about finances. That’s the highest it’s been since peaking at 69% in 2009, at the heart of the recession.

In 2015 and 2016, 62% of people surveyed said they suffered from insomnia related to financial stress.

CreditCards.com has conducted this survey five times since 2007, and for the first time, the cost of health care is listed as the top financial concern that keeps us from getting to sleep at night.

Why Financial Stress is Costing Us Sleep

The promise by President Donald Trump and the Republican Congress to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is the likely reason why 38% of Americans are plagued with sleeplessness over the cost of health care, according to CreditCards.com

Along party lines, Democrats were generally more worried about health care costs than Republicans in the survey, which was conducted earlier this month.

“But even if we were all at ease with our health care system, the fear of a costly medical emergency would persist for many consumers” across party lines, the survey found.

Health care worries are just the beginning.

Retirement, which is out of the No. 1 spot for the first time, is a close second in keeping us all tossing and turning when we’d rather be sound asleep.

About 37% of Americans who worry about money are concerned about how much they have saved for retirement. That’s probably not surprising when you consider the median amount of retirement savings for families with adults ages 44-49 is only about $6,200.

Also of concern are student loans (34%), paying the mortgage or rent (25%) and credit card debt (22%).

But this is not all bad news for those who want less worry and more shut-eye.

Spend Less, Sleep More

For many of the people losing sleep over financial worries, there’s a way to reduce financial stress. Take a look at your budget or create one, and find places to cut back.

About 64% of people who said money troubles kept them up at night said they cut their expenses in some way in the past 12 months — and that improved their financial situations.

Of course, as the survey points out, no matter how strong the economy may seem, financial concerns are generally a consistent part of life.

“It’s concerning that consumers don’t feel much better about their finances than they did during the Great Recession, despite low unemployment and steady wage growth,” according to CreditCards.com. “But we will likely always experience some level of financial anxiety, even if lawmakers call a truce on health care and find a way to bring student loan debt under control.”

Your Turn: Does financial stress keep you up at night? If so, are you cutting back on expenses?

Desiree Stennett (@desi_stennett) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.