Personal Finance

3 ways sleep deprivation is costing you money

We all know sleep is important for our health and mental wellbeing, but did you know it can impact on your finances too? Here we discuss 3 reasons why sleep deprivation is costing you money.

It's recommended that adults get between 7 and 9 hours sleep a night. However, there are many challenges that we all face which can stop this from being the case. From digital stress with constant notifications and work emails, anxiety, insomnia or even having a newborn in the house—it can all take its toll on how much sleep we actually receive.

A lack of sleep can have a number of different health complications from high blood pressure to weight gain, and can even affect fertility. Not getting enough sleep can also impact us financially.

It can harm your career

According to research from Rand Europe, sleep-deprived workers are costing the UK economy £40bn a year. Even those who manage to show up to work in a sleep deprived state aren't doing anyone any favors as they are less productive.

Cost of lack of sleep, by countryLost working days a yearTotal cost% of GDP
Canada80,000$21.4bn1.35%
Germany200,000$60bn1.56%
Japan600,000$138bn2.92%
United Kingdom200,000£40bn1.86%
United States1.2 million$411bn (£328bn)2.28%

Whether you are self employed or work for a large corporation, you need to be well rested in order to be on your game and make each day count. After all, your boss is not going to give you that promotion if you appear tired and unresponsive in meetings. And if you work for yourself, be aware that lack of sleep can significantly contribute to the stress experienced by small business owners.

With the uncertain times that Brexit is bringing to the economy, this is a loss that companies simply cannot afford to withstand.

If you are not able to perform at your best, bring your ideas to meetings with your boss or equally bring in new clients for your business because you are constantly exhausted, it will ultimately harm your career and earning potential.

It can encourage impulse purchases

When we are tired from the night before, all too often we will consume food and drink which is bad for us. The NHS completed a study which found that those who are sleep deprived are more likely to eat unhealthy junk food.

Junk food is not only bad for our health, but also our wallets. Over time, consuming fast food can become a very costly habit, not least because it's addictive. Take ordering a pizza for example, which averages at around £15—this is 10 times what buying a frozen or fresh one would cost at the supermarket. Therefore, a lack of sleep can start to drain our bank accounts without even realising it.

If we are sleep deprived, we may also make other impulse purchases without rationalising or looking for a better deal. This can include things such as holidays, investments or even impulse clothing purchases. Without adequate sleep, we are unable to consider purchases properly.

You are more likely to have a car accident

It is impossible to drive safely if you have not had a good nights sleep, and is one of the reasons the government campaigns for drivers to take a break to avoid having an accident. Aside from the health ramifications of a car accident, even minor scrapes can have a negative impact on your finances by increasing the amount you'll pay for your car insurance policy.

The average cost of car insurance is around £500 a year. If you have a car accident because of a lack of sleep, your insurance premiums will increase and you will lose your no claims bonus. You could also be in trouble with the police if you were not fit to drive when you got behind the wheel, and for some people having a car to drive to work is essential for their job. This is yet another way a lack of sleep can impact your finances.

Tips for improving sleep

If a lack of sleep is causing you problems not least financial harm, then there are some things you can do to get on top of the situation. Aside from talking to your GP, you can make sure you put away screens before bed, exercise regularly, avoid caffeine too close to bed time and practice relaxation techniques to help you wind down after a busy day at work.

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