A recent survey published in USA Today Online reports that financial stress is making more people lose sleep. The use of sleep aids is also increasing. Unfortunately, not getting enough slumber can hurt someone’s health. It can also hurt a person’s pocketbook, making financial stress even worse.
Short Term Affects Of Sleep Loss
Not getting enough rest can negatively affect your day even after one night of lost sleep. After one night without enough rest, a person’s alertness and performance on tasks requiring alertness can be reduced by up to 32%. Memory and thinking skills can be impaired, there is a greater risk of being injured on the job, and people are more likely to get into a car accident. Even these short term affects, if continued over a long period of time, could lead to reduced performance at work and could keep you from getting that raise you want.
Effects of Chronic Sleep Loss
If you fail to get enough rest for a longer period of time, you could be setting yourself up for health problems. Many unwanted diseases and conditions have been linked to a chronic lack of sleep, including high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, obesity, depression, and heart attack.
People who don’t sleep well might find themselves smoking or using tobacco at a higher rate than people who do get enough rest. They might eat more foods with high-carbohydrates or high amounts of sugar.
Getting More Sleep
If financial stress is causing you to sleep poorly, it is important to do something about it. Try to get enough rest every night. If you already are spending enough time in bed, but are having trouble falling asleep, there are some things that you can do about it.
Try to relax before going to bed. This is especially important if stress is keeping you from sleeping. Journaling, light reading, stretching, or a hot bath can help you relax. Avoid watching distressing news programs on the television if this can cause you to lose sleep. Also avoid reading highly suspenseful books at bedtime, as these might actually cause you to stay up later than you wanted to, reading “just one more chapter.”
Caffeine can also have a negative effect on sleep. People have been drinking soda for years, but the recent surge of energy drinks on the market have made caffeine consumption rise considerably. Recently, I have decided to drink a lot less soda, and I do not keep it in the house any more. I have found that by not consuming caffeine like I used to, I fall asleep a lot more quickly.
If you have tried to get more sleep, but worries about the economy continue to cause insomnia anyway, it may be time to get some help. Financial problems may be causing depression, and dealing with those problems might help you get a better night’s sleep. You may need to use one of the sleep drugs that are on the market temporarily, while you get through a rough time in your life. Whatever the cause of your sleeping difficulties, it is important to take care of it as soon as possible, before it starts affecting your health.
Breus, Michael J. “10 Tips to Get Better Sleep.” WebMD.com. http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/10-tips-to-get-better-sleep
Breus, Michael J. “Sleep Habits: More Important Than You Think.” WebMD.com. http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/important-sleep-habits
Marcus, Mary Brophy. “Economy Doing A Number On People’s Sleep.” USA Today.com, March 1, 2009. http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-03-01-sleep-economy_N.htm?csp=34