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pillows of cash

Don't get enough sleep? Try getting rich

It seems wealth has its privileges.

Updated at 4pm

ARE YOU CONCERNED that you don’t get enough sleep? Feel permanently exhausted, the rat race dragging you down?

Well, it turns out the solution is to get rich.

New data from the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that the number of adults gettting more than six hours sleep nightly increases proportionately according to their income level.

The CDC is the US Department of Health think-tank that runs an annual National Health Interview Survey, the 2013 version of which is the basis for the new report.

cdc Graph depicting number of adults surviving on less than six hours sleep per night. CDC CDC

The released figures show that 35.2% of families living on the poverty line (about €22,000 total annual income for a family of four) sleep less than six hours nightly.

Conversely, of those living at four times the poverty threshold (about €88,000) in similar circumstances, just 27.7% are sleeping less than six hours each night.

The figures are also split into urban and non-urban areas with the same trends displayed regarding income – the only difference being rural areas show higher percentages across the board for people getting less sleep – probably attributable to commuting times and other rural-specific problems.


Quite apart from the well-off having a greater sense of security and well-being, the main reasons for the disparity in sleep patterns it seems are employment and family related, i.e. the better off have more control of their working hours and work fewer jobs, while also being better able to afford childcare assistance.

It pays to be wealthy it seems.

The CDC have previously called sleeplessness a ‘public health epidemic’.

“Unintentionally falling asleep, nodding off while driving, and having difficulty performing daily tasks because of sleepiness all may contribute to hazardous outcomes,” they say.

Persons experiencing sleep insufficiency are also more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity.

Driving while sleepy is estimated to cause 88,000 deaths on American roads each year.

Read: People are taking drugs like Ritalin to help them perform better in school and work

Read: Russia’s heavy drinkers turn to cleaning products over money woes

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