Tag Archives: Money

If You Sleep More, You May Earn More Money

sleeping business man moonResearchers were trying to evaluate the importance of sleep so they focused on two American cities in a single time zone: Huntsville, Alabama (on the eastern edge of the central time zone) and Amarillo, Texas (on the western edge of the same time zone). The sun sets an hour later in Amarillo, so the assumption was made that people get less sleep in Amarillo than they do in Huntsville.

The findings reported in Time Use and Productivity: The Wage Returns to Sleep, by Matthew Gibson of Williams College and Jeffrey Shrader of the University of California-San Diego, were people who get one hour less shuteye, over a long period of time, earn about 4.5 percent less.

From an economic perspective, the idea may seem counterintuitive. After all, when you’re snoozing you’re not producing. However, from a psychological point of view, it makes a lot more sense. A British study of 21,000 employees found those who slept six hours or less each night were less productive than employees who slept for seven or eight hours.

Of course, sleep wasn’t the only issue that lowered productivity. According to the study, physical inactivity, financial worries, mental health issues, musculoskeletal issues, bullying, impossible deadlines, and unpaid caregiving all negatively affected workers’ output.

Sleep issues, however, may become more important as we become attached to devices like tablets, laptops, and smart phones. Research described in Scientific American found two hours of tablet use before bedtime suppressed melatonin release. Melatonin is a hormone that lets us know it’s time to sleep.

So, if you’re having trouble getting to sleep and use a smart phone or tablet before bed, you may want to turn down the brightness of your glowing screens before bed – or switch back to good old-fashioned books.

* This article first appeared in our weekly email newsletter. To subscribe to the Ruggie Wealth Management Weekly Commentary email sanemone@ruggiewealth.com or call us at  352.343.2700

When Do You Have A Duchenne Smile?

smiling coupleAccording to Martin Seligman, professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and author of Authentic Happiness, the Duchenne is a genuine smile, typically accompanied by eye crinkling, and it demonstrates real happiness. The alternative, the Pan American, is a counterfeit smile. It may be the one we employ in exasperating customer service situations. The point is: When we are truly happy, our smiles are genuine.

Researchers in the field of positive psychology and happiness have spent quite a bit of time trying to determine whether money makes us happy. There has been no decisive answer to date, although some studies’ findings offer abundant food for thought.

  • More money means greater happiness. “…rich individuals are more satisfied with their lives than poorer individuals, and we find that richer countries have significantly higher levels of life satisfaction.”  –Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers of University of Pennsylvania
  • A dearth of money can cause emotional pain. “More money does not necessarily buy more happiness, but less money is associated with emotional pain.” –Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton of Princeton University
  • Experience offers a better value for your dollar. “People generally believe that making money and obtaining material possessions will improve their lives… However, materialism has repeatedly been shown to be detrimental to well-being…Investing discretionary resources into life experiences, rather than buying material possessions, makes people happier.”  –Ryan Howell et al, San Francisco State and University of Southern California
  • Anticipation makes experience all the sweeter. “Four studies demonstrate that people derive more happiness from the anticipation of experiential purchases and that waiting for an experience tends to be more pleasurable and exciting than waiting to receive a material good.” –Amit Kumar et al, Cornell University

The relationship between emotional well-being and financial well-being is complex and worth exploring. How does money affect your life? Does it make you happy? Could it make you happier?

* This article first appeared in our weekly email newsletter. To subscribe to the Ruggie Wealth Management Weekly Commentary email sanemone@ruggiewealth.com or call us at  352.343.2700