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How much money is an hour's sleep costing you?

In week three of nine in this series of success and health habits, we’re exploring why sleep is so important and sleep differences between classes.

Whenever I hear someone tell me they pull a lot of all nighters, I get concerned, but for a long time, I was jealous. I’ve never been able to sacrifice sleep for work, and in Western culture, it’s almost like a badge of honour.

Knowing what I know now about sleep, I’m glad to have lived and worked the way I have- which is on as much sleep as possible, because I know now I’m better off for it. How much better off? Read on to find out…

Sleep and success:

For this blog post, I read ‘Why We Sleep’ by Matthew Walker. Part of what’s keeping me up at night is knowing the consequences of bad sleep after reading this book. So if you’re a worrier like me, this is your warning to click off now.

Sleep negatively affects productivity. When you’re not getting enough sleep, you don’t get as much done. If you’re a manager, the amount of sleep you will get actually affects your whole team. There was an interesting study where supervisors who slept poorly had less engaged teams even if the team members themselves were well rested.

Now this is my kind of party

Economists Matthew Gibson and Jeffrey Shrader also found people who sleep more also tend to earn more on average in the USA. The ROI of an extra hour of sleep is around 4-5%, which is about double the average annual pay rise in the USA.

The sleep deficit:

The economic benefits of getting enough contribute to poverty cycles. Circadian rhythms of shift workers are notoriously disrupted creating a class divide in the quality and quantity of sleep between classes.

Health is heavily impacted by the loss of sleep, but it’s often overlooked as the solution to many problems, especially by people of lower economic status.

A lot of this is because it’s much harder for disadvantaged people to get high-quality sleep for a variety of reasons from too much light filling the room of cramped city apartments to the stress of day-to-day life contributing to insomnia at night. Other contributing factors include overuse of caffeine and alcohol too late in the day.

Is there a solution?

If sleep is within your control, do everything you can to get 6-8 hours for a better chance at a healthy body and mind now and longevity later.

Nike and Google were both mentioned in Walker’s book for adjusting work schedules to each person’s preferred sleep schedule and found productivity increased.