With the car breaking down on Sunday and still having a ton of work to do for the 149th Carnival of PF, I ended up only getting 8 hours of sleep on Sunday night. I can survive, and ten years ago I wouldn’t have thought twice about it. The thing I noticed for the next 48-72 hours was how much that lack of sleep effected my whole life. I was much more pessimistic, less energetic, less patient, less productive, and grumpy. Since I have been getting fairly consistent sleep for about two years, I didn’t realize how good I felt. I have even felt more energetic and rested since I went mostly vegetarian and have been eating healthier. When we constantly deprive ourselves of sleep we tend to acclimate to limitations on how we feel, how we act, and how much we can get done. Changes, both positive and negative, take a while to show themselves. During that time we easily forget how we feel until we experience something different sometime down the road. Those differences can have a huge impact on every area of our lives, espcially our finances. Below is a list of ways that our finances can be directly affected by lack of sleep:
- Increased food costs. When we are tired we tend to eat out a lot more or by more expensive pre -packaged food.
- Increased risk of accidents and sickness. This includes driving and normal around the house type injuries. These types of setbacks can cost money for medical services and oppurtunity cost at work and other endeavors.
- Lower self control. The lack of control can lead to increased extraneous spending and debt.
- Lack of energy and productivity. This means no energy to sell stuff on eBay or Amazon or to invest in other extra income tasks, perform well at work, or invest in budgeting and financial planning and learning.
- Lose of creativity and intellectual prowess. Have you been stuck on how to solve a money problem? Well, research shows you really could find the answer in your sleep.
- Grumpiness and impatience with others. This means less communication and teamwork in a marriage or with people who can keep you accountable. It means less satisfying relationship which will directly effect happiness and ultimately your wallet.
- Pessimism and depression. In just a few days, I saw how quickly my outlook was effected in negative ways. Getting out of debt and having financial discipline isn’t easy and you need all the help you can muster.
So next time that you want to stay up late to watch some movie you have seen 5 times already, play a Wii game, or spend some not so productive time on the internet, remember what it might cost you. Some of you may be thinking that it doesn’t matter how much sleep you get because you feel about the same no matter what. I will tell you that I used to feel the same way, until with the Rockette’s help, I was able to consistently go to bed and wake up at similar times for an extended period(months). I didn’t realize how good I had been feeling, until I didn’t get enough sleep and felt like my old self again. If you are getting around 8 hours of sleep consistently and you still feel bad, it might be worth having some sleep tests done to make sure there aren’t any apnea or other sleep issues.
There is plenty of research on the benefits of sleep, but I don’t think we even need to go there. In my experience a little experimentation and anecdotal evidence will give us all the ‘research’ we need. Solve your sleep problems and your finances will most likely show a marked improvement.