Tatiana Branch: Sleep and income inequality

aCould a person’s lack of sleep be connected to their income?

On average, most adults should be getting anywhere from 7-10 hours of sleep per night, according to the documentary Fault Lines: For Sale: The American Dream. But millions of Americans go to work every day with less than the recommended hours of sleep. People who get less than seven hours of sleep per night are at higher risk for health issues such as heart disease, hypertension, mood disorders, poor immune functions, higher alcohol consumption and the shortening of one’s life expectancy, according to the Huffington Post.

Obesity and heart disease are more common in lower-income households. A lack of sleep also can have a significant effect on a child’s performance in school. This creates an inequality in sleep, for people of low-income who do not have the luxury to sleep seven or more hours a night compared with someone with a higher-income.

bPeople of lower income tend to face more stress, which leads to less sleep, which leads to lower productivity at work. According to the Global Citizen, people who sleep less, earn less. Studies say that getting more sleep at night can increase a person’s salary. More sleep allows people to be more alert and focused at work, which improves work performance. The better one performs at work, the better chance they have at getting a raise in salary or even a higher paying position.

Sleep deprivation is connected to social demographics. Where a person lives can affect the amount of sleep they can get. Caucasians are least likely to report issues of sleep deprivation, while African Americans, Asians and non-Mexican Hispanics are more the twice as likely according to Triplepundit  website.

A lower education level also contributes to a person’s lack of sleep. A higher education is associated with higher income, which could mean better physical health. Fast Company says that having fewer resources plays a role in sleep deprivation. Overall people of higher income tend to sleep more and live a healthier life style. People with lower incomes are working longer hours and getting less sleep. However, as long as people are working long hours and multiple jobs to make a living, sleep is something that will need to be put aside for later.

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