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How to sleep well financially

We all know getting sufficient sleep is vital for our physical health, but, as it turns out, it’s also crucial for our financial health.

There’s a direct link between the quality of sleep and wage increases, according to a 2015 study by Matthew Gibson of Williams College and Jeffrey Shrader of the University of California at San Diego.

The study found a one-hour increase in average weekly sleep increases wages by 1.5% in the short-term and by 4.9% in the long run.

And it makes sense: Lack of sleep reduces attention and focus, slows reaction times, negatively impacts memory and recall, and makes us more prone to make mistakes. We tend to be sharper and more productive when we’re well-rested, which directly affects the quality of work we produce.

Stress about finances is also a top factor that impacts sleep quality, according to a study by The Better Sleep Council. It found that people who rated their sleep as “poor” were 1.4 times more likely to live paycheque to paycheque compared to those who rated their sleep as “excellent.” They’re also 1.3 times more likely to be concerned about their financial future.

So, there’s a direct connection between sleep and money; we can make more money when we get more sleep, and we lose sleep when we worry about money.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some tips for better sleep.

Avoid screens

Screens are all around us. We have sophisticated phones that connect us to the rest of the world, and 65″ TV’s to binge Netflix, and computers that many of us spend eight hours a day typing away on.

The average American spends 11 hours a day staring at screens, according to a report by Nielsen.

All that screen time impacts our sleep.

The blue light emitted from phones and other devices suppress melatonin, the hormone responsible for controlling our sleep cycles and our circadian rhythms, according to

Electronic devices also keep our brains alert, making it feel like it needs to stay awake.

To ensure your phone, television, tablet, or computer don’t impact sleep, shut off all devices at least an hour before bedtime.

Instead, read a book. Opt for one with real pages and a low brightness reading light.

Practice mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness practice improves sleep, here’s proof.

A study by JAMA Internal Medicine included 49 middle-aged men who had trouble sleeping. Half completed a mindfulness awareness program that taught meditation to help them focus on being present and more attuned to their thoughts and emotions. The other half completed a sleep education class.

Both groups met once a week for six weeks in two-hour sessions. The mindfulness group was found to have less insomnia, depression, and fatigue at the end of the study than the group that completed sleep education.

If you’re new to meditation and mindfulness, there are some great apps to help you start. Calm, Headspace, and Mindfulness Timer are three popular ones that offer both free and paid guided meditations.

Listen to the Real Money Talk Episode with mindfulness money coach, Chantel Chapman

Invest in sleep aids

Weighted blankets are all the rage these days – and for good reason.

“By utilizing a blanket that is roughly 10% of your body weight, you feel like the blanket is hugging your body, giving you a sense of calmness, which can reduce stress, as well as help you to stay asleep so your body can go through the necessary stages of sleep to allow you to wake up fully rested,” Bill Fish, certified sleep science coach, told Healthline.

Weighted blankets say they decrease anxiety and restlessness – two factors that impact sleep quality.

The right mattress and pillow are also essential. Mattress technology, in particular, has come a long way in recent years. The mattress-in-a-box phenomenon has made state-of-the-art memory foam mattresses available at affordable prices. I can speak from experience: They’re incredibly comfortable and improve sleep quality. Popular models include Casper and Endy. Both offer free shipping and monthly payment plans, which are friendly options for your wallet.

The bottom line

Sleep and finances are more closely related than you might have thought. Practicing good habits in both will help not only reduce stress; it will improve both aspects of your life.  So, give these tips a shot if you’d like to sleep more soundly and feel more comfortable financially.