Looking for a better night’s rest? Try stuffing some money under your mattress.
Metaphorically speaking, of course.
Propping up an old, sagging mattress with stacks of Washingtons, Jacksons or Benjamins won’t improve your sleep. (It’ll just make for a lumpy bed.) But our research does indicate that saving up so you have some cash reserves in your piggy bank at the end of the day will likely lead to more restful nights.
How Financial Stress Becomes Sleep Stress
Cortisol is known as the stress hormone because our brains signal our adrenal glands to release it whenever we encounter a perceived threat. In a natural daily rhythm, our bodies have the lowest cortisol levels around midnight – coinciding with the time most of us have wound down from the day and retreated to the safe, relaxing confines of our bedrooms for some shut-eye.
But finding bills in the mail when you get home from work or learning that your son needs money for a scouting trip next week can spike your cortisol right when it’s supposed to be declining. You guessed it: a high cortisone level disrupts sleep.
Good Savers Are Better Sleepers
It appears that the mere act of saving can help maximize quality of sleep.
Of the 2,000 people we polled in the State of America’s Sleep survey, one-third qualified as excellent sleepers. Within that group, nearly six out of 10 (59%) said they save money regularly to cover unforeseen home expenses, and more than half (52%) said they routinely save for retirement.
Conversely, those who aren’t consistently putting money toward those goals were far less likely to experience excellent sleep. Only 21% of those who don’t save to cover home expenses and just 25% of those who aren’t making an effort to create a retirement nest egg made it into the class of above average sleepers.
To put it simply, savers are twice as likely to be excellent sleepers.
In the Quest for Rest, Peace of Mind Is Key
Even if you’ve failed repeatedly to save, it’s important to keep trying. Every dollar you put away will work to put your financial worries at ease and eliminate a major obstacle to sleep.
Using a strategy like the 52-Week Savings Challenge may be an ideal way to get into the habit of saving. In this challenge, you ease into savings by putting just $1 in the bank the first week, $2 the second week and so on. After a year, you’ll have accumulated $1,378.
(That’s just one idea. There are hundreds of articles and apps designed to help you save. Find one that you think might work best for you.)
Don’t Forget to Invest in Yourself
There’s a few smart things you can do beyond just saving money too. Setting and maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and avoiding well-known sleep disrupters, like alcohol, caffeine, digital screens and big meals, in the hours before you turn in can put you on the road to sleep success too.
Best of all, adding proper sleep practices to your daily routine won’t cost you a dime.
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