Tuesday, September 12, 2006

People Sleep Better on a Pile of Money

An interesting study from the Journal of American Epidemiology suggests that the rich sleep more efficiently. People with higher incomes don't sleep for more hours necessarily, but they spend less time trying to get to sleep each night (called sleep latency).

Here is a link to a graphic from the study and where I originally found out about it.

Any ideas on what your income could have to do with your sleep latency?

(Source: Marginal Revolution)


Anonymous said...

I think that the correlation between income and amount of sleep latency has to do with the smaller amount of financial uncertainty that comes with a higher income. Usually, someone can't get to sleep if they are worrying about things in their life. People with very small incomes may have to worry about whether they'll be able to afford their utilities or, in extreme cases, food. The amount of this financial concern probably decreases in predictable intervals as income increases, resulting in the increasing amount of sleep as income increases.
-Jordan Croom

Anonymous said...

I think Jordan is definately right that people with higher incomes in general have less to worry about. However, i think worries that trouble us before sleep go beyond financial issues. It is a well known fact that poorer people have more kids, which would definately cause more stress. I do not say this to refute Jordan's arguement, but rahter to offer a different suggestion. I for one know that my Dad has money, but he worries about money. ALOT. He has also had trouble falling asleep at night since he was a child, as have I. Maybe our sleep habits are affected by the members of our family as well. There are endless possibilities.

Anonymous said...

I agree with both katie and jordan about the poorer people have more to worry about. Another argument to this issue could be how richer people control their schedule more than poorer people. The rich can decide when they want to wake up or even go into the office that day, while the poor have to be on someone elses schedule. Richer people also have more free time usually which could relive their stress and tension, and the less wealthy people only have the time they get home and get into bed to think about these things. There could be many reasons why some people go to sleep faster than other.

Taylor Pike

Anonymous said...

I agree with the three above, and I especially liked Caitie's point about poorer people having more children than richer.
I just also thought of a possible other reason. Some people with lower incomes might be working to minimum wage jobs or a regular job with a minimum wage one as a nightime job. So the lower income person may come home later and more tired than the higher income person with the normal daytime hours, but instead of coming home and going straight to bed they still have to work. They have to do what every other person, even the higher income person would have to, has to do when they come home: such as make dinner, get things together, help out with the kids, laudry etc, but because they are coming home so much later it sets them farther back from those who get home at a normal hour. Then by the time they are done its much later than they had hoped to get to bed and then they have to wake up early to go into their lower paying job the next morning causing an endless cycle of stress and insomnia.