The Money You Make Depends On The Sleep You Get

We know that sleep is good for health, but how important is it for income? To find out, economists Matthew Gibson and Jeffrey Shrader designed a study that compared the wages of one group of people to another group that got an hour less sleep per week, on average. But instead of controlling the participants in giant sleep labs, they took the inspired approach of examining cities on opposite ends of their respective time zones. Amarillo, Texas, for example, is on the western edge of the Central Time Zone, whereas Huntsville, Alabama is on the eastern edge. Even though their clocks read the same time, Amarillo gets about an hour more sunlight than Huntsville does, which means that Amarilloans generally go to bed later. Unfortunately, the business day starts with the clock, not the sunrise, so both cities still rise at roughly the same time. The economists found that this one-hour increase in weekly sleep worked out to a 4.5% long-term increase in wages. The take-home message? You can't always control where on the time zone you live, but you're largely in charge of how much sleep you get, so set a bedtime and stick to it! Learn more about the importance of sleep with the videos below.

How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

Hear the risks of too little -- and too much -- sleep.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. In a lifetime, a person will spend 24 years asleep. 00:13

  2. After a few nights of sleep deprivation, the body can fully recover with a few nights of good sleep. 01:04

  3. The ideal average length of sleep is seven to eight hours, but it may vary from person to person. 02:31

How To Get Better Sleep

Two words: power nap.

Why Do We Sleep?

The answer isn't simple.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. There is no solid scientific consensus on why we sleep. 01:56

  2. Black rhinos sleep for one to two hours laying down, and three to four hours standing up. 04:23

  3. Dolphins engage in unihemispheric sleep, which means that one half of the brain is resting while the other half is alert. 08:01

Written by Curiosity Staff September 16, 2016

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