How a Lack of Sleep Can Hurt Your Finances
Proud that you’re awake at all hours and still functioning normally? It may be costing you.
The arguments for a good night’s sleep are well-documented, with studies showing that people who get more sleep get fewer colds, tend to maintain a healthier weight and have a smaller chance of coming down with heart disease and diabetes.
But if you’re uninterested in the health benefits of sleep, you may want to consider what your sketchy sleep patterns are doing to your wallet.
You’re probably sleepwalking through your sleep problem. There are many reasons we don’t get enough sleep. Some people are workaholics or night owls. Others are kept up by chronic stress or insomnia, and still others have a disorder like sleep apnea. According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, a condition that causes troubled breathing during sleep, and 75 percent of people with sleep apnea don’t know they have it.
What’s unsettling is that the average person may not realize they’re sleep deprived due to the way the body works. ”We habituate to adenosine, a brain chemical that induces sleep. So even though judgment and performance are impaired, we think we’re performing just fine. The reality is, they are depriving their brains of a nutrient just as vital as food or water,” says Emerson Wickwire, sleep medicine program director at Howard County Center for Lung and Sleep Medicine in Columbia, Maryland. He also teaches non-drug treatment approaches to sleep disorders at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Wickwire continues: “The effects of sleep loss on cognitive processing, concentration and memory are striking and acute. Processing speed deteriorates dramatically with shortened sleep duration, and you can’t simply ‘catch up’ on the weekends.”