Getting good sleep and enhancing sleep quality is not only important for physical health but also your mental health. The right amount of sleep impacts health positively in numerous ways and so when you don't get enough sleep, it can cost you thousands of dollars in preventable expenses over the years. Here are some aspects of your life that will feel the financial impact of short or poor quality sleep.
It's not just a daily doughnut's impact on your wallet after a poor night's sleep that adds up. Losing 30 minutes of sleep a day could lead to weight gain and negatively impact blood sugar levels, according to research. A long-term sleep debt can increase your chances of developing diabetes. People diagnosed with diabetes spend an average of $16,752 on medical bills and equipment per year, about $9,600 of that is attributed to diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Here's one more reason to go to bed instead of watching 'one more episode.' Science finds that sleep deprivation – even one night – can impact the region of the brain that controls learning and memory. When you aren't able to retain information or concentrate, that could lead to short-term and long-term negative outcomes. From distractedly spilling coffee on your laptop to not remembering that task your boss told you to complete, short sleep costs you money. Your boss is probably looking for an energized employee that doesn't drop the ball, so if a lack of sleep means you get passed up for a promotion, it could equal thousands of dollars in lost wages. Luckily, catching up on sleep can help rebuild those connections between essential learning neurons in the brain, according to a study done on mice.
Your happiness levels
Anyone who's experienced disruptions to their sleep at night understands how getting enough sleep impacts your ability to handle stressors the next day. Research has shown that most Americans would be happier if they were to sleep an extra 60 to 90 minutes per night. If your stress, anxiety or depression due to sleep problems requires therapy, that can cost over $20 a session depending on your health insurance. Prescription medications to help with these mental health issues can also add up depending on your insurance coverage.
A lack of sleep can make you more susceptible to illnesses, which costs you money in doctors visits, medicine and may keep you out of work. Absenteeism not only costs your employer money, but it impacts the U.S. economy as well. The CDC estimates that productivity losses related to personal and family health problems cost U.S. employers $225.8 billion annually, about $1,700 per employee each year. Enhance sleep quality by practicing good sleep hygiene and talking to your physician about sleep-related issues.
Your ability to drive safely
Drowsy driving was suspected to be the cause of nearly 800 drowsy-driving crash related deaths in 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. People with sleep apnea may be at a higher risk. People who snored or usually slept six or fewer hours per day were more likely to report falling asleep while driving, according to a report on the CDC website. Not only will an accident put you at risk for injury and death, but every accident that you're responsible for may cause your car insurance rates to increase, according to an analysis on NerdWallet. Improving sleep quality and quantity can help keep you and others safe on the road.