Better Sleep Leads to More Money

Sleeping Cat

Getting enough sleep is important for your mental and physical health. It is important for your immune system, for your state of mind and for your emotions. But did you know it is also good for your wallet?

In their paper Time Use and the Labor Market: The Wage Returns to Sleep economists Matthew Gibson and Jeffrey Shrader have found a link between higher income and getting adequate sleep.

One of the main areas economists study is productivity. This is, how efficient workers are at producing output. Another popular question is how to increase productivity. More productive works are obviously more desired. The idea then goes that the most productive workers get paid the highest wages.

Outside of work, we spend more time sleeping than just about anything else. Yet economists have surprisingly not studied sleep's effect on productivity. There are studies about specific fields, such as doctors or students, and those studies show that less sleep leads to inefficiency and mistakes. But there are few studies linking income to sleep.

As with most economist theories, it can be difficult to show causation and not just correlation. What Gibson and Shrader do is to look at wages across timezones. If the theory that sleep increases income is true, then those who live on the eastern side of a timezone should have a higher wage than those who live on the western side of the same time zone. This is because the sun sets earlier in the east. This means individuals living in the eastern part of a timezone will go to bed before those who live on the western side of the same timezone.

They find both of the above assumptions to be true. Individuals who live where the sun sets earlier do go to bed sooner and get more sleep. Also, those who sleep more have a higher wage. In the long run this higher wage is equal to about 5%. If someone is paid $50,000 per year, getting more sleep can lead to an increased wage of $52,500 per year. $2,500 every year sounds pretty great.

Getting to bed early, and being able to have a good comfortable sleep is important for you and your paycheck. If you have trouble sleeping, an investment is a quality mattress and a good comforter is going to pay for itself.