Study Reveals Debt's Role in America's Sleep Crisis
Debt isn’t just a financial burden — it’s a mental and emotional one as well. A growing body of research has demonstrated the pernicious impact of debt on mental well-being, with a specific focus on how financial distress contributes to sleep disorders like insomnia. The repercussions are severe: Poor sleep has been associated with a multitude of physical and mental health issues, including heart disease and depression.
BadCredit.org commissioned a study in September 2023 on the extent to which debt causes insomnia. We surveyed 3,000 respondents to ascertain the number of people who say their debt (excluding mortgages) causes them insomnia and combined this data with figures on insufficient sleep from County Health Rankings. This enabled us to identify which states and counties in the United States are most affected.
Hawaii Residents Sleep Patterns Are Most Affected by Debt
The study revealed that Hawaii residents’ sleep patterns are most affected by debt. Here, 28% of Hawaii respondents — or 410,410 people — said they suffer from insomnia because of concern over their debt. They were followed by survey respondents in West Virginia (26%), Rhode Island, and Idaho (23% each).
Here’s a closer look at the top 10 states where debt is seemingly robbing people of their peaceful slumber:
West Virginia: 26%
Rhode Island: 23%
South Carolina: 21%
New Jersey: 21%
In stark contrast, Vermont emerged as a relative haven, with just 9% of its populace reporting debt-related sleep disturbances.
Furthermore, the study zoomed into the county level, highlighting the communities where the sleep-debt dilemma is most pronounced. Counties from Hawaii and West Virginia predominantly featured in the top spots.
Here are the top five counties grappling with debt-related insomnia:
Honolulu (HI): 31% (306,873 residents)
Kauai (HI): 28% (20,912 residents)
Logan (WV): 28% (9,046 residents)
McDowell (WV): 28% (5,206 residents)
Hawaii (HI): 28% (56,286)
The troubling interplay between debt and sleep is more than just numbers; it’s about real people facing real challenges. The persistent anxiety surrounding debt management, particularly when it spirals out of control, can trigger a cascade of mental health issues, including anxiety and depression.
Over time, this chronic stress can morph into physical ailments such as headaches, muscle tension, heart conditions, and sleep disturbances. This vicious cycle of deteriorating mental and physical health makes climbing out of the debt pit even more daunting….
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HNN: Hawaii is the most sleep-deprived state. You can blame the cost of living