It seems that every time I have a conversation with an adult human about sleep, all anyone can talk about is how little of it they're getting. Well, as it turns out, that's probably because the adults I mostly interact with are either involved in retail or journalism, my two current fields of employment — and which both don't make obscene amounts of money. Why does that matter? Because according to new research, it seems that the more money you make, the more you sleep — which, by extension, means that the less money you make, the less you sleep. No wonder all us writers and retail workers are so exhausted all the time, am I right?
The study, which was published as part of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, used National Health Interview Survey from 35,000 households across the country. Lead author Lindsay Black found that about a third of people living below the federal poverty line, which is just under $30,000 per year for a family of four, reported sleeping less than six hours per night — even though the recommended amount of sleep for adults is seven to nine hours. Conversely, of those earning up to 400 percent over the federal poverty line, only a quarter reported that they weren't getting enough sleep.
At first, this was somewhat surprising to me. Though it makes sense that poor people would get less sleep because they probably work longer hours and more jobs (for example, between my two jobs I work 60 hours per week plus a full time undergraduate course load, just to stay afloat!), I would imagine people earning more would also be at their job for long hours. If you're making that much, you better be putting in a lot of damn work, right? But that's not always the case, as people making more money have flexible hours, better vacation time, and, for that upper one percent a lot of privilege to do whatever they want.
The solution to help people making less money get more sleep? Well, it seems that unless or until the cost of living goes down, minimum wage goes up, and/or people in entry level jobs actually make a living wage, this issue will persist. If you have to support yourself and a household on just $9 an hour, you can't just take time off to relax and catch up on beauty sleep.