master your money with sleep

By Bryan Mapenzi

The connection between sleep and reaching those money goals is a real thing! Try these simple sleep biohacks to master your money.

You need sleep to master your money. Sleep is an essential function for our wellbeing and health. Yet many of us often wake up feeling unrested and groggy . Our grind culture pushes us to perform and hustle, and we often sacrifice sleep in the name of success. We often hear the phrase “sleep when you’re dead!” in support of the grind. This belief is quite contrary to the truth. Lack of quality sleep impacts brain activity and work performance.  Our hunger for productivity in the name of capitalism can have detrimental effects, especially on our salary. 

Sleep deprivation can increase stress, risk of chronic diseases, poor decision making, and our quality of life. It’s also detrimental to our finances. According to one study, nearly a quarter of Americans (24%) surveyed by CareerBuilder in 2016 said that lack of sleep makes them less productive; 17% said it affects their memory. The question is, how do we balance getting adequate amounts of sleep to increase our well-being with productivity, and our bank accounts? Here’s how sleep can help you master your money.

Master Your Money by Destressing During the Day

We’ve all been there. We’ve had an exhausting day. Yet somehow, we hit our beds and our minds decide to run the Boston Marathon. Our stress during the day is strongly connected to our quality of sleep. Anxiety during the day can not only affect how our muscles relax, but can cause nightmares in the REM sleep. This lack of sleep creates a vicious cycle of stress during the day, inadequate sleep at night, followed by elevated stress during the day. 

Not to mention, when we are stressed and sleep deprived, our impulse control diminishes, especially with our money. This could lead to impulse purchases that we may later regret and impact our financial goals. 

When our overall inhibitions are lowered, so is our decision making with money. That extra money that was burning a hole in our pocket is far easier to remain unspent when we get ample sleep and our mind is sharp.

There are a myriad of options for stress relief, including conflict resolution, mindfulness meditation practices, yoga, and many more. For best results, create a regimen that works for you. This way, when you enter bed, you can wind down to help master your money. 

Feel the Circadian Rhythm, Feel the Rhyme!

Another key aspect is when we go to bed and when we rise. Our sleep-wake cycle is in step with the rising sun and can be affected by inconsistent bedtimes, working third shift, and other factors. Our bodies build a consistent schedule if we go to bed and wake up at the same time. This routine helps us transition into the different sleep stages throughout the night.

Create a Bedtime Ritual

Our bodies are phenomenal at adaptation and maintaining homeostasis, meaning they love routine. Creating a bedtime routine gives your body just what it wants: A set plan so it can adapt and get back to maintaining balance. 

Your ritual can include:

  • Fight the Blue Light
    • Turning down the lights and limiting technology usage at least 30 minutes before bed helps slow down brain waves so you aren’t excited upon entering your bed
  • Showering
    • Raising the body temperature before bed helps ease into sleep
  • Journaling/meditation
    • Reflecting and letting go can be calming, putting you at ease about the day
  • Prep for the next day
    • Picking out your clothes, making your lunch and other necessities save time in the morning, which limits stress incurred from feeling rushed
  • Keep it Cool
    • Reducing the air temperature to between 60-68 degrees prior to bed enhances one’s quality of sleep and helps avoid unnecessary breaks in sleep, due to discomfort. A Dutch study showed that people with chronic insomnia slept longer and more deeply simply by lowering their body temperature by one degree before bedtime.
  • Brush teeth/floss
    • Don’t neglect your gum/tooth health, which is correlated to all other aspects of your physical health

Get Moving

Studies have shown that not only does exercise decrease stress and anxiety, but it also helps individuals have more deep sleep. This is the stage of sleep where the body’s tissues repair, so it makes sense that deep sleep and exercise go hand in hand. Aiming for at least 25 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (heart rate of 50-70% of max heart rate) daily will get you headed in the right direction. This move can reduce risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other chronic ailments.

Be Mindful of What You Eat

A key aspect of sound sleep is not having other processes in your body firing on all cylinders. If we over excite our brain, it’ll make sleep that much more challenging. Our “second brain”, our gut, is no different. If we eat or drink too close to bedtime, it makes it more difficult to stay asleep with a stomach full of food and a bladder full of liquid that needs to be voided. The best practice would be to limit food and liquid intake 90 minutes before bed. This helps to avoid waking up for bathroom breaks that break your sleep.

Parting Thoughts to Master Your Money

Sleep, and its quality, is one of the most important factors gauging our health and well-being. It relates to our physical health, mental health, and financial health. We need adequate deep sleep if we want to see our bodies restored. If we want our minds to be sharp, we need enough REM sleep. If we want to be more financially sound, we need both. Be sure you also manage your burnout and decompress with some of our strategies.

One study showed that a 1-hour increase of weekly sleep increased earnings 1.1% in the short-term and 5% in the long-term.  Luckily, we can take steps to feel more rested. Realizing that we sleep for a third of our entire lives is crucial and understanding how it affects our day-to-day activities is a step toward helping sustain our long-term health and wealth. 

As you strive to create better financial futures for ourselves and our families, look to the quality and quantity of your sleep as a guide to creating more robust health and wealth in your life.

Be well and sleep well and master your money

*Featured image via Shutterstock

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Created by nationally recognized millennial money expert Tonya Rapley, My Fab Finance is a leading financial education and lifestyle blog for millennials who want to become financially free and do more of what they love.