The National Sleep Foundation conducted a survey recently among different ethnic groups to study a number of sleep related issues. Of particular interest to me were the survey results about money troubles and sleep problems.
I remember from my debt problem days how I never could seem to sleep well. I was always worrying about my debt, creditors, collectors, and, well, you know.
Here is what the study stated:
Blacks/African-Americans report losing sleep every night over personal financial concerns (12%) and employment concerns (10%) at a higher rate than Whites (6% and 7%) or Asians (1% and 4%). Hispanics are almost equally concerned each night about these two issues (11% and 9%, respectively).
Asians report the lowest rates of losing sleep due to personal financial concerns at least a few nights a week (9% versus 22% Hispanics, 20% Whites and 19% Blacks/African-Americans).
Hispanics are the most likely to say they are kept awake by financial, employment, personal relationship and/or health-related concerns.
Overall, at least one-third of Hispanics (38%) and Blacks/African-Americans (33%) report that any of these concerns disturb their sleep at least a few nights a week, compared to about one-fourth of Whites (28%) and/or Asians (25%).
Moreover, about two in ten Hispanics (19%) and Blacks/African-Americans (19%) say their sleep is disturbed every night or almost every night by at least one of these concerns.
“So many people are suffering because of economic uncertainty,” says Martica Hall, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. “If you find yourself lying awake worrying, write a note to yourself to work on these issues the next day so you can dismiss those ideas at bed time. Consider using relaxation techniques and focus on calming activities and thoughts. If your problems persist, you may want to seek out a sleep professional.”
Nice quote from the doctor but not what people in deep debt are most able to do. I surely can’t remember a time when I could have simply written down my worries and dropped back into a restful sleep. After all, it seemed like my job to watch overnight infomercials and they finally drift off to sleep around dawn.
The end game of this sleep issue is that the combination of poor sleep, sleep deprivation, stress, and depression from money problems creates a situation where people are not mentally prepared to make a plan to get out of debt that is reasonable. instead, in desperation, they often leap at the first solution that promises magic relief.
If debtors struggling with these issues learned about their debt solution options before making a decision, sought help for their depression and took decisive but sometimes difficult action to intervene in the money troubles, like bankruptcy, they would find that rather quickly life would return to being happier and brighter again. And you know what happens next, you sleep much better.