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21 May 2022

How to get a good night’s sleep if you’re stressed about money

How to get a good night’s sleep if you’re stressed about money

Nearly one in five (18%) people have lost sleep over surging prices in recent months.

A quarter said managing their finances is the leading cause of stress at the moment, according to a survey by Shawbrook Bank.

Almost nine in 10 people are worried about the cost of living crisis – and one in 10 reported seeing their monthly expenses on basic items rise by more than £300.

With the extra pressure of budgeting for rising living costs, how can we make sure we are getting a good night’s sleep – so we’re in the best position to deal with these growing issues?

1. Set firm boundaries

Having firm boundaries in place might help your sleep cycle, and you might want to set aside a period of time before bed to not think or do anything related to money.

Dr Deborah Lee, medical writer at Dr Fox Online Pharmacy (doctorfox.co.uk), says: “It’s so easy – especially when consumed by money worries – to obsess about it around the clock. Make sure you ‘clock off’ in the evenings, to ensure you get enough sleep.”

2. Practise mindfulness

Focusing on your breathing may help to calm your body and aid sleep.

Lee suggests this short exercise: “Sit quietly and breathe out slowly and deeply. Think of your five senses one by one. Take a minute to concentrate on each one. Hearing – can you hear three different sounds? Vision – can you see three different colours? Taste – can you taste three different flavours? Smell – can you smell three different smells? Feel – can you feel three different sensations?”

Aside from breathwork, Abdullah Boulad, behavioural specialist and CEO of The Balance (balanceluxuryrehab.com), recommends “taking a 30-60 minute walk, especially before going to sleep”.

He says this “not only physically makes you tired, but walking is great for clearing your mind before bed. Guided meditation is a great tool before going off to sleep, as this relaxes you and your mind”.

3. Journal your worries away – or at least quiet them a little

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If you have a thousand money-related thoughts going through your brain when your head hits the pillow, journaling may help rationalise your fears and gain clarity on complex issues.

Lee says: “Writing a nightly journal of 10-20 minutes before turning off the light can help park your worries. Several studies have shown expressive writing before sleep can help you sleep better.”

4. Limit screen time

Social media is awash chatter about the cost of living crisis, with many sharing their fears, hardships and worries – not something you necessarily want to see right before you go to sleep, so Lee recommends winding down before bedtime.

“This is especially important with money worries,” she explains. “Switch off computer screens, mobile phones, TVs and laptops, several hours before bedtime. These emit blue light, preventing the release of the sleep hormone melatonin.”

5. Make your room a ‘money-talk free zone’

“Opening up and speaking about your problems – whether that is financial or any other issue you may have – is beneficial in many ways,” says Boulad. “Speaking aloud about your problems sorts your thoughts out and organises them, rather than keeping them bottled up. Loved ones or specialists are there to help and give you ideas or recommendations that you may not have thought of.”

But, for better sleep, you might want to skip the money chat just before bed.

“Save these conversations for during the daytime. This just inflames your worries as your head is about to hit the pillow,” says Lee. “And do not check your bank balance just before you go to bed.”

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