The Rich Sleep Better – Socio-Economics And Sleep

A study has come up which is far too interesting to save for my ‘This Week In Sleep’ roundup. People in the upper income brackets report better sleep, according to a survey of 5000 British people from the non-profit organization ‘The Sleep Foundation’.

I have given the highlights of this survey below, and added my own thoughts as to why the cash-rich are also sleep-rich. After this I covered the opposite end of the socio-economic spectrum, asking why the poor are more likely to suffer sleeping issues. Being poor has been highlighted as a factor in conditions ranging from sleep Apnea through to too much sleep.

High Income = Better Sleep

Income in this report was in Pounds, with higher earners put in the £75k and above annual earnings – or around $135k. It was found that people in this bracket reported better sleep, were significantly more likely to have taken sleep medication (53% said they have never done so) and were the most likely to share their bed with their partners regularly.

One statistic which casts doubt on many pieces in the press blaming modern technology for sleeping issues was that rich people were the most likely to use their computers late at night.

Of the 5000 surveyed, the poorest reported the most medication, with those earning under £15k ($22k) the most likely of all. People who do not work report the poorest sleep, with only 33% reporting regularly getting a good night of sleep.

Without doubt and interesting study. As I often say here at theSleepWellTimes, we need to be careful to separate cause and effect. For example, those with higher incidence of sleeping problems might end up in the lower socioeconomic brackets as their issues interfere with education and performance at work.

Other Ways Lower Income Can Disrupt Sleep

Once people reach higher income brackets they can buy houses in quiet neighborhoods, and ensure their sleep environment is comfortable. This luxury is not available to the poorest, who live in higher density units and can suffer from noisy, run-down neighborhoods. Working shifts and in physically demanding jobs is also more common.

The biggest factor dividing the income groups when it comes to sleep quality is access to the latest healthcare. Many health issues can be caused by lack of sleep, and many others will cause sleeping issues – a ‘vicious circle’ which can be difficult to break without assessment and access to appropriate treatment. Self-medication through alcohol or dependence on sedative insomnia medication can only make things worse.

This need not be all doom-and-gloom. Knowledge of common sleep conditions and their remedies, can quickly go a long way to helping resolve any issues.