We all know that money woes can cause you to lose sleep at night but have you considered that lack of sleep may actually contribute to your money problems?
A life full of work, family and social commitments can definitely make you feel exhausted at the end of the day. And if you, like many people, find you’re not at your best after one or more poor or short nights of sleep, it’s not a stretch to think that your decision-making skills might be affected, impacting everything from your diet, mood and relationships to your job performance and your spending habits.
What does this mean for people who regularly go without enough sleep but who are also trying to make smart decisions about their finances? You may not be able to control some of your daily obligations, but you can take steps to proactively improve your sleep hygiene.
Here are a few common suggestions for how to get better sleep:
- Make it a priority:
Bump up sleep on your list of prime healthcare concerns, as you might with diet or exercise. If the saying, “what gets measured gets managed” is true, a sleep log can help you track and identify patterns. Plenty of templates are available through a quick online search and tend to ask for such information as sleep and wake times, whether your sleep was disrupted, daily exercise and medications and how you felt in terms of mood and tiredness during waking hours. Consider sharing this information with your doctor to help describe your sleep habits.
- Keep a regular routine:
It might be tempting after a long week to burn the midnight oil on weekends and then sleep in late, but this only serves to confuse and disrupt your body’s sleep cycles. Try to be consistent with your sleep and wake times seven days a week. Avoid long naps late in the day.
- Reserve your bedroom:
Keep your bedroom free of distractions like too much noise or light and make it sleep-friendly with comfortable bedding and a temperature conducive to sleep. Save the room for sleeping or intimacy only, not TV, reading, eating or other activities. If you have a pet that’s likely to wake you, consider barring it from the bedroom.
- Wind down:
Treat yourself to a regular bedtime routine that relaxes you, perhaps with a warm bath, a favourite book or meditation. Avoid physical or mental stress, heavy foods and stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine before bed, as well as too much alcohol or other liquids. Do you really want your bladder waking you up earlier than planned?
Stay away from electronic devices before bed, which may only serve to stimulate you and disrupt sleep. If you’re a nighttime clock-watcher, try turning the clock face away from you.
- Chat with your doctor:
If your sleep difficulties are persistent, it may be time to check in with your doctor to rule out or treat potential disorders such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, insomnia or other sleep issues.
Getting a good night’s sleep is possible. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way toward helping improve your sleep habits, enjoying a healthier lifestyle and perhaps protecting yourself from poor financial choices.