Being in debt can be a stressful time, so it’s little wonder that people lose sleep over it. But, just how much people lose could surprise you, with research from Zopa finding that those with money worries lose an average of 2.1 hours sleep per night.
Debt stress takes its toll
According to the figures, 40% of those in debt lose sleep over it, and that can affect more than financial health. Losing that amount of sleep can quickly take its toll, in an emotional as well as a physical capacity: 44% said that family life was significantly affected by being in debt, and a further 20% cited loss of respect from family and loved ones as their biggest debt-related fear.
But just what causes people to get into debt in the first place? Well, 22% cited the rising cost of food and household items as the main cause of debt (despite recent reports indicating that food prices have actually fallen by 2.5%), while 27% said that overspending on non-essential items was to blame. Unexpected car costs were also a key contributor for 21% of respondents, while the same number blamed poor personal finance management.
The majority (65%) had two or three sources of personal debt, with 63% struggling with credit card debt and 10% stuck in the vicious cycle of an overdraft. For some, the debt was simply becoming unmanageable, with 19% having debt of between £4,000 and £6,000 before they sought to look at their options. But, once they got a handle on their finances, 48% said that it had dramatically improved their life, with 54% saying they felt ‘back to their old selves’. Sleep and family life significantly improved as a result, with 35% saying they slept through the night and 52% stating that they were able to enjoy family life much more.