What is an extra hour of sleep worth to you? Will it enable you to get paid more?
Want to get paid more? What if I told you that you could increase your income by more than 15% by sleeping for another hour at night? A research study published in the WSJ suggests just that.
Two UCSD PhD candidates released documents showing that increasing average sleep by one hour per night produces a 16 percent higher wage. These researchers began from the position of empirical research data that shows the connection between sleep, memory performance, and ability to focus on intensive tasks.
They then utilized a large, nationally representative set of time diaries from U.S. workers to create a profile of the causal effects of sleep on wages. Their research suggest that a one-hour increase in long-run average sleep increases wages by 16 percent. This is equivalent to more than one year of schooling.
Besides the financial discrepancy, lack of sleep can have negative effects on our health and our daily lives. Researchers at the University of Surrey’s Sleep Research Center in the UK studied the impact of sufficient versus insufficient sleep. Studying two different groups, one getting 6.5 hours in week 1 and 7.5 hours in week 2, and the other getting 7.5 in week 1 and 6.5 in week 2. Blood test were administered at the completion of each week.
Along with the decreased ability to focus on tasks and reduced memory capabilities, the blood tests proved that an hour less in sleep increased activity of genes associated with inflammation, immune system response and stress. They also observed an activity increase in genes that are associated with chronic illnesses such as diabetes as well as cancer risks.
Sleep deprivation is an epidemic of which we are just now beginning to realize the severity. Our lives are moving faster than ever and we are busier than ever. With work, family, and home responsibilities, it can be difficult to balance everything. Often, our sleep is the first area to suffer.
Unfortunately, continually disregarding the importance of sleep has consequences. We are less able to handle the stressors of life when not properly rested, and with stress now contributing to more and more disease, such as depression, heart disease, and and obesity, it is more important than ever to begin to take sleep more seriously.
If you are someone who struggles to get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep, there is still hope. You can adjust your routine, adopt different habits, and begin to make sleep a priority.
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Susan Sly is a best selling author, work life balance expert, speaker and entrepreneur. She has appeared on CNN, CNBC, Fox, Lifetime Television and the CBN. Susan is the mother of five children and resides in Scottsdale, Arizona.
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