How much is an hour of sleep worth to you?
To me, it’s worth quite a bit. There are probably some who share the same thoughts. On the other hand, I’m sure there are also many others who would say, “show me the money!”.
An short article I recently read, from The WSJ discusses a study that covers the topic of sleep vs. money. In it, there people are asked to choose between getting more sleep and less money, or more money and less sleep. Here were the actual choices:
- An $80,000 job that has work hours that are manageable, and you end up getting 7.5 hours of sleep a day
- A $140,000 job that has long work hours, and you end up getting 6 hours of sleep a day
Which would you choose?
I find this to be an interesting question – in terms of how this might be answered by everyone. There are some people that are very focused on health, balance, etc. Then, you have some people that are highly focused on making more money as the top priority. In between, you have many of the rest of us, who don’t think the two are mutually exclusive.
A big help in the quest to be financially successful is the trait of perseverance. Often times, those who want something badly enough will work extra hard for it – and truly work extra hard. In the setting of a career, this might mean working super late hours and cutting into sleep. If you’re not doing it, inevitably someone else will. There is usually someone out there willing to outwork the next person.
I’ve been one of these people before, who have worked some incredibly late nights. I mean, we’re talking countless times working until well past midnight in the office, only to get up early the next day. Sometimes until 2am or later. There others who do that, and look at it like it’s some type of badge of honor.
Over time, I’ve moved more toward the side of trying to keep balance. I’ve learned that quality of life is important, and it’s important to take care of one’s health. If you do nothing but work, and view sleep as a waste of time, it will catch up to you. Sleep is not a waste of time, it’s really important.
The irony of it is that if people get more sleep, they might be more productive. Could it be possible, as discussed here before, that sleep can lead to wealth creation? Doesn’t that sound good?
Back to the question. If I could reframe it a bit, and take out the dollar amounts – and focus on the relative percentages – I’d take less money and a proper night’s sleep. Continuing to get 20% less sleep than you need – whatever that exactly is for you – will take it’s toll over the long run.
I like the idea of getting the right amount of sleep and being well rested. Sounds more fun! Plus, you might be more productive and able to get more done in less time, when physically and mentally alert.
My Questions for You
Which would you choose from the options noted above - more money, less sleep – or proper sleep, less money?
Have you ever worked excessive hours like I have in the past?
Do you subscribe to the belief that increased sleep can lead to wealth creation, or do you think sleep is overrated?