Debt Is Giving Americans Nightmares, Costing Them 200 Hours of Sleep per Year

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The average American loses 200 hours of sleep each year and has three nightmares per week because of debt, according to new research.

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The survey, which was commissioned by National Debt Relief, asked 2,000 adults how debt affects their daily lives. The survey found an increase in anxiety (38%), stress (33%) and moodiness (32%) because of debt problems, Talker News Reported. Approximately 69% of respondents also reported that debt made them withdraw from the things they enjoy. 

“People aren’t sleeping and they’re even having nightmares. We’re losing about a month of sleep per year and people are having up to three debt nightmares per week,” Natalia Brown, chief client operations officer at National Debt Relief, said to ABC News. “There’s a definite impact to mental health and to physical health.” 

Three in four respondents would give up doing and buying things they want and 71% would constantly think about their debt. Three in five respondents also admitted feeling pressured to spend money they don’t have to keep up appearances, Talker noted.

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People are also making sacrifices because of their debt. Forty-nine percent would give up a vacation, 38% would give up date nights and 36% would miss a wedding because of their debt worries. Nearly three in five respondents even said that they would put off marriage to avoid inheriting their partner’s debt, Talked added, and 54% believe having a partner who’s in debt is a major reason to consider divorce.

Approximately 71% feel like a “black cloud” hangs over them when they have to pay a bill or make a loan payment, Talker reported, and the same percentage feel debt has permanently affected them mentally.

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Survey respondents said credit card debt was the worst to be in (45%), followed by medical loans (34%) and owing money to a mortgage (32%). Eighty-seven percent of respondents agree that getting out of debt feels like they’re retaking control of their lives.

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About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.
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