It’s hard to hit the hay when the cows are mooing. And with all your financial worries right now, you could be dealing with a downright noisy herd in your head. Not only are financial worries stressful to think about during the day, but they can also invade your nighttime routine and make getting enough quality sleep feel like a faraway dream. Below, we have tips for better sleep during your financial stress.
A Financial Stress Wake-Up Call
In an attempt to discover positive and negative factors that impact sleep, the State of America’s Sleep study asked individuals questions related to their day-to-day lives and sleeping environment. It found that more than half (60%) of self-rated poor sleepers live paycheck to paycheck and three out of four (75%) are concerned about their own financial future.
Financial state plays a huge role in how we see and feel about ourselves, and 2020 has thrown a wrench into everyone’s financial stability.
Am I making enough money? Am I saving enough money? How am I going to pay that bill? Do I have enough to support my family? These are the questions that may already have been keeping you up at night and are now amplified due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic has created an environment of uncertainty and instability,” said Ellen Wermter, board-certified family nurse practitioner. Wermter continued, “All this change and instability creates immediate concerns, such as how to provide for self and family, but also longer-term worries about what the future holds.”
With everything going on, it’s no wonder that getting some shut-eye has become a lot more challenging, but the following can get you back to catching some Z’s:
Sleep Now, Worry Later
The goal isn’t to outright ignore your finances, but to set aside a time to think about them so they don’t pop up at bedtime and in your nightmares. What Wermter suggests is scheduling a specific time of the day or week to address financial concerns. “It is easier to tackle problems in small steps, and avoiding the problem only causes that nebulous cloud of worry to grow. Instead, concentrate on your money problem-solving efforts during the time you set aside, and then move out of that worry cycle.” Addressing your concerns during your worry cycle helps you minimize interruptions during your sleep cycle.
Work It Out
We all know the physical benefits of exercise, but don’t forget about the stress-busting benefits as well. When you exercise, your brain activates neurotransmitters called endorphins. (You may have heard of the “runner’s high.”) Endorphins are responsible for feel-good feelings of happiness and content. And feeling good aids in the sleep process. Exercise is a lullaby for your body, and just 30 minutes a day can prepare you for a good night’s rest.
Improve Your Pre-Bed Ritual
You can’t just jump straight into sleep. You’ve got to set the mood. Wermter suggests building a bedtime routine at the end of the day in order to “help prepare your body and mind for sleep.” A few simple pre-sleep activities you can add to your routine are to turn off your devices, submerge yourself in darkness with black-out curtains or enjoy a nice, relaxing drink like chamomile tea.
Find Financial Help
Even though sleep helps melt all of your troubles away, financial worries will still be there when you wake up. If you’re struggling, there are a number of groups, such as the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, that can help you get back on track. The NFCC is a nonprofit financial counseling organization that helps you manage debt at no cost. You can have an online chat or speak directly over the phone with a financial counselor. Through the pandemic, they’ve been advising people on emergency credit card payments and mortgage forbearance, while providing resources for COVID-19 emergency financial help.
Financial stress has been robbing you, leaving restless nights and even more stress in its wake. But the key to getting some shut-eye is to keep your eyes open. Set a time to handle your financial stress, create a better sleep routine and seek out financial help if needed to get back to a restful sleep.
This blog provides general information about sleep and sleep products. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified heath care professional. This blog should not be construed as medical advice or used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care professional. This blog is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and should not be relied upon to make decisions about your health or the health of others. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog or elsewhere on bettersleep.org. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.