Skip to Content
Tally logo

Want a Better Night's Sleep? Start Tackling Debt

Getting a good night's sleep helps people handle stress better. Read on for tips on how to minimize money-related worries and and maximize your Zzzzz's.

January 26, 2022

Worrying about debt? You’re not alone. 

If you’re also struggling to get a good night’s sleep, then the two issues — stress about finances and poor sleep quality — may be connected. 

According to The Better Sleep Council, people who report their sleep quality as “poor” are:

  • 1.4 times more likely than people with “excellent sleep quality” to live paycheck to paycheck

  • 1.3 times more likely to be concerned about their financial future when compared to excellent sleepers

If you’re wondering how stress affects your sleep, read on.

How does money cause stress?

More specifically, how does the fear of not having enough to meet your needs create stress? According to a sleep expert quoted in, the situation is “very bidirectional.” 

In the first of the two directions, not having enough money creates stress, making it difficult to get a good night’s rest. To add to the challenge, mental illness and credit card debt can go hand in hand, along with physical problems (Including poor sleep). 

Additionally, getting good sleep helps people handle stress, including money-related worries. Being well-rested allows a person to step back and brainstorm how to improve the situation. 

If you can't sleep because of debt, you might feel caught up in a cycle, knowing that you need more sleep to address your financial challenges but can’t make it happen.

How can you break the worry treadmill and get the rest you need? 

Save money talk for the mornings

When you talk about topics that trigger stress, avoid nighttime conversations. If you’re sleep-deprived, you won’t be 100% level-headed. Healthline suggests that you’d be acting “like someone who is intoxicated.”

The idea is to address money issues logically — making the morning a better time. 

Keep and stick to a sleep schedule

The Mayo Clinic says that healthy adults typically need seven hours of sleep nightly, and the clinic recommends going to bed and getting up at the same time every morning. Your sleep schedule should vary by no more than one hour on weekends versus weeknights. 

Still awake 20 minutes after getting into bed? Instead of tossing and turning, get up and participate in relaxing activities such as reading or listening to soothing music. Then try again.

Turn off screens

Television sets, computers, tablets, cell phones — even digital clocks — have a soft glow that can lead to disrupted sleep. So, an hour before bedtime, turn them off, covering up any displays that you can’t easily shut down. No glow. 

Create a sleep-friendly bedroom

People typically get their best rest in dark, cool and quiet rooms. If you need extra help, consider: 

  • Earplugs 

  • A fan 

  • Room-darkening shades 

  • Other items to make the room more enticing for sleep

Having a calming bath or using relaxation techniques before bedtime can also help.

Say “no” to naps

When tired in the daytime, it can be tempting to nap. If you really have to shut your eyes, do so for 20 minutes or less early in the day. Otherwise, find other ways to get your energy back, perhaps through a walk or chat with a friend. 

Avoid nicotine, alcohol and caffeine before bed

So says Harvard University. Coffee, tea, colas, chocolate — and even some pain relievers — can keep you up because of the caffeine content. So, avoid them before bedtime: four to six hours before. Don’t use tobacco or drink alcohol too closely before shuteye time, either.


Get out of the spiral

Can’t sleep because of debt? The stress of not having enough can leave you tossing and turning at night. In turn, that lack of sleep makes it harder to tackle mounting money issues.  To rationally think about how to get out of debt, it’s recommended that you create a plan when you’re well rested. 

By using a mixture of sleep tips listed here, you may soon find yourself getting a good night’s sleep — prepping you to create a get-out-of-debt plan.

Approaches include the following debt pay-down methods:

  • The avalanche method. Pay off your debts in order of their interest rates, highest first, while still making minimum payments on all of them. This’ll help you to pay less interest overall. 

  • The debt snowball method. In this strategy, pay off your debts in order of the balance sizes, least to most, while still making minimum payments on each. This way, you’ll reduce the number of debts you have and create payoff momentum. 

  • Debt consolidation. Combining all of your credit card balances into one payoff solution can streamline the repayment process. Plus, if you qualify for a lower interest rate, it can save you money over the life of your debt. 

No matter which strategy you use, as balances go down, you’ll discover that paying off debt feels gratifying. You may be less likely to make impulse purchases as you begin to break the cycle of debt and more conscious about falling back into it. 

Get started with goal setting

Strategies that work best for you may not work as well for someone else and vice versa. What matters, according to experts in positive psychology, is that we can train our brains to envision what we want. Then, when we work towards those goals, our brain keeps “nudging” us towards achieving them. 

Practical goals serve as reality checks and, as progress is made towards them, benefits can include a sense of confidence that motivates the goal setter towards creating and reaching even more goals in the future. 

Well-rested and ready to tackle credit card debt? Tally† may be able to help. Tally is a credit card repayment app that can help streamline the repayment process by offering a lower-interest line of credit, saving you time and money along the way.

​​†To get the benefits of a Tally line of credit, you must qualify for and accept a Tally line of credit. The APR (which is the same as your interest rate) will be between 7.90% and 29.99% per year and will be based on your credit history. The APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. Annual fees range from $0 - $300.