The Impact of Sleep on Earnings

Here at RetirementSavvy, we often talk about the importance of your fiscal health and your physical health; and the nexus between the two. Two well-known components of physical health are diet and exercise. There’s another which gets less attention: sleep.

Does working more hours, and sleeping less, lead to greater income? I would suggest it’s probably not the number of hours worked, but the level of productivity; quality over quantity. Maybe it depends on the industry and the specific type of work.

The folks at Tuck wanted to know, how does the sleep/work trade-off really work? Is it really true – statistically true – that sleeping less means earning more? Might there be exceptions to the rule? And how do specific careers compare with one another in this regard?


James retired in 2005 after serving 21 years in the United States Army. During the latter part of his career, James' interest in personal finance was piqued based on his own experiences and observations of the way most Americans plan – or more accurately, fail to plan – for retirement and the difficulty many face in starting the process. His most valued education has been lessons learned from personal experience and through conversations with smart, savvy friends.

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