How often do you wake up feeling tired? A 2020 study conducted by OnePoll on behalf of RestoreZ revealed that over 60% of Americans experience morning fatigue. Waking up tired will often mean starting the day on the wrong foot – close to half of the survey respondents blamed their lack of sleep for their bad moods and lack of patience throughout the day. The obvious solution to morning fatigue is sleeping more, but what if you are getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep every night and still waking up tired? Could something else be impacting your sleep?
I recently visited Malta for a few weeks. I hadn’t been back home since Christmas so I had a jam-packed schedule trying to meet with as many friends and family members as I could. At the time same, I was finally given the green light to get back to running longer runs. A week in, I found it very hard to complete a 5km run. This was super demotivating for me as I felt that I had lost my fitness levels completely. I spoke to my mum about this, and she told me that it was not surprising because I was not getting enough sleep due to my busy schedule. I wasn’t in my normal sleeping schedule, sometimes sleeping less than my regular eight hours, and even if I did, I was not always getting quality sleep. She was right – lack of sleep makes everything seem harder.
According to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, sleep is a basic human need. Unfortunately, its importance in terms of its quantity and quality is often underestimated. We have all heard someone defend their sleeping schedule by saying that they don’t need more than six hours’ sleep. Whilst there is a very small genetic minority of the population known as short sleepers that can function well on less than six hours of sleep, the majority of the population requires seven to eight hours of quality sleep for proper functioning. Moreover, getting enough hours of sleep is just as important as the quality of sleep we are getting. There are many things that could be affecting our sleep quality, such as an irregular sleep schedule, alcohol and caffeine, and stress and anxiety.
Individuals that experience stress and anxiety tend to find it harder to fall asleep, and when they do, they fall in and out of very light sleep. This is due to the way our body reacts to stress – stress is our body’s response to unknown or potentially dangerous situations. Our brains want to remain alert to be able to react quickly to a dangerous situation, making quality sleep very difficult to achieve. We all experience stress to some extent. We may feel stressed out because of our families, our relationships, our work or studies, and of course, our finances.
Financial stress is the feeling of worry or anxiety that arises with the thought of money or expenses. This may relate to worry around losing your job, increasing debt, unexpected expenses, financial peer pressure, holiday season gifts, or a combination of these and many other factors. Money is a lot more than just numbers on a bank statement – it is the lifeline that gives us access to the resources we need to survive. If you do not have enough money for your rent or your mortgage, for example, you will not have a home. This kind of worry poses a danger to our safety and therefore triggers a feeling of stress which keeps us up at night. This is known as financial insomnia – difficulty in falling asleep or remaining asleep due to worries and anxiety about money. Aiming to remove all financial stress from your life is a very difficult task to do, but there are ways to manage it. A good way of doing this is by practicing wellness. In particular, financial wellness.
Financial wellness is financial security. This means that you are prepared for emergencies and your future. Not feeling financially stable can lead to anxiety – there are few things that stress us out more than receiving a bill we cannot afford or running into unexpected or unplanned expenses. Feeling financially secure will involve creating a budget, building an emergency fund, and setting short- and long-term financial goals. There are many ways to go about this, such as by educating yourself, contacting consultants or advisors for help, or taking workshops to learn how to manage your money. Having a plan in place will help you sleep better, and if you sleep better, you will perform better.
Waking up feeling tired for one day will negatively impact that one day. Feeling this way every day will impact your life. As I explained in my previous article, it is the consistent actions that impact our lives and not the one-offs. Lack of quality sleep over the long-term will make every day an uphill battle, making it harder to function properly at work, be patient with our partner or children, make good decisions, or complete a run. Practicing financial wellness will not solve all your stress and sleep problems, but it is a good start to helping you fall asleep with a clear mind.
Our two cents: Money makes the world go round – but it can also turn your world upside down and keep you up at night. Creating a budget, building an emergency fund, and setting financial goals can help reduce this stress which in turn can help you achieve better sleep.
If you are not sure where to start, speak to us at Black Swan Capital and we can help you create a plan for long-term financial security and peace of mind.