Well-Being//

Almost 2 in 3 People with Money Troubles Can’t Sleep at Night, Study Reveals

Sleeplessness and financial worries are having a harmful effect on wellbeing and work life for many, with millennials worst hit.

Courtesy of Nora Carol Photography / Getty Images 

They say money talks — now research shows this voice can cause insomnia, as 62 percent of people with financial worries suffer sleeplessness.

The study by Salary Finance of more than 10,000 UK employees found that 40 percent of people surveyed had financial worries on their mind.

Lack of sleep is a pressing issue for these workers, who are almost nine times more likely to report insomnia than those without money troubles.

The knock-on effects of this sleeplessness have a real impact on their working lives. Those struggling to sleep are six times more likely to say they have troubled relationships at work, and that their quality of work is affected by the lack of slumber.

Worse still, 44 percent of people with money worries said they were struggling or failing to finish daily tasks at work, compared with only 6 percent of those without. Salary Finance have created a short video explaining the impact of financial worries in the workplace.

While men and women are on an even footing when it comes to lack of sleep, age makes a big difference. Millennials are more than twice as likely as baby boomers to be suffering from sleeplessness, which affects 40 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds versus 16 percent of those aged 55-64.

Perhaps reflecting the precariousness of employment and high relative cost of living experienced by younger generations, half of those aged 16-34 reported having money worries, compared with only a fifth of workers over 54.

Younger generations are also more than twice as likely to be troubled about their careers and relationships, with about a third revealing concerns. Worryingly, over a third of 16- to 34-year-olds also feel prone to panic attacks and depressed mood, more than double the rate seen in the over-54s.

When it comes to regional differences, Wales and Northern Ireland are the hardest hit; 43 percent of employees there are struggling to sleep at night, compared with a low of 30 percent in the Midlands. Londoners also came in high at 42 percent.

Supporting the link with financial worries, people in London, Wales and Northern Ireland reported the highest levels of money troubles, while the Midlands and the North had the lowest figures. Workers in the capital were also the most likely to suffer stress, panic attacks and depressed mood.

Surprisingly, the extensive study of over 10,000 people working in 25 different sectors showed very little correlation between rates of pay and levels of sleeplessness and financial worry, meaning that higher salaries don’t necessarily mean less stress. Forty-nine percent of those earning over £100,000 a year had money worries, compared with 40 percent of people overall.

Asesh Sarkar, co-founder and CEO of Salary Finance, said: “These figures are a real eye-opener, showing starkly that worries about money keep much of the nation up at night, and impact negatively on work life and productivity.

“We believe employers have a role to play in helping reduce this stress for workers: from education and help accessing expert financial advice, to offering responsible borrowing in the form of salary-deducted savings and loans.”

The study identified that how people spend, save and borrow are key to whether or not they have financial worries. Respondents were asked ten questions about their money habits, resulting in a financial fitness score from one (“Not in Control”) to five (“Financial Freedom”). Eighty-two percent of those with a score of one had money worries, versus only 8 percent of those with a score of five.

Those scoring lower were more likely to run out of money before being paid, causing reliance on short-term, high-interest borrowing including payday loans, causing further money troubles in a vicious cycle.

Salary Finance partners with employers to offer employees a range of salary-linked benefits designed to help them get their finances in shape by improving financial wellbeing, saving money and borrowing responsibly.

A short animated video explaining the Financial Fitness Score and a link to the free calculator is available here

We’d love to know your thoughts on Thrive stories and Quaker products. Take our quick survey here! [Sponsored]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.