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Losing Sleep and Money

in Health Insurance, Insurance, Money

Would you rather have a good night’s sleep or be financially sound?

Sorry that is a trick question, because in my case, if I was financially sound, I would sleep better. My sleep patterns are not ideal, I am a classic worrier (I believe it is genetic), so I have had many sleepless nights, but at the end of it most of the time it has been directly or indirectly due to money (and the lack thereof).

My guess is if I was single, I might not worry about money as much, because having a family and dependants makes money issues magnify in significance 10 fold (at least). It’s funny that money can play that big a role in someone’s life, but in my case it most certainly does (when I was a teenager I never thought I’d get a girl and if you’d told me I was going to be making what I am, I’d have said, “Bring it on!”. interesting how the table has turned).

Given the effect worrying has on most folks health (for those that don’t worry (and I don’t believe you don’t worry) you’ll have to imagine this), makes me start wondering about whether insurance companies are going to start asking financial health questions when you apply for health insurance or life insurance? This may sound far-fetched but is it really?

Medical studies are showing conclusively that worry and stress shortens people’s lives and can cause major health issues, so why wouldn’t insurance companies take that into consideration? In the 1960’s whether you smoked was not a question on your life insurance application, but it most certainly is now. Obesity and weight may not have been an issue before, but it most definitely is part of applications for life insurance. So why is stressful money such a stretch?

A few ideas that I could see causing insurance companies to put up a red flag on someone applying for insurance might be:

  • Over a certain age (say 35) and still owing more than 1/2 of your mortgage principle.
  • No retirement savings in place (and no pension either)
  • At Credit Card maximum rates
  • Applied for a Credit Limit increase and been refused

The list could be quite long, so watch out folks, your financial lifestyle may spill over into your health directly and indirectly too.


  • Canada Finance January 24, 2012, 4:23 PM

    I must agree as well that stress affects sleep behaviors. If you can figure out a way to get your finances under control, you will get better sleep and gradually you will become more aware and more effective. It can be as simple as setting a personal budget to help manage your finances, or cutting down on daily expenses such as purchasing coffee

  • Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter January 16, 2012, 10:34 AM

    Interesting question. You have a point. Mental illness, lack of sleep, etc do have an effect on people’s health and yet the triggers for this aren’t looked at like you say. Maybe they should be? I guess the tricky part is that the list of triggers for this could be endless so quantifying it into an algorithm where you could determine who to approve and who not to would be really hard.

  • Money Beagle January 16, 2012, 9:45 AM

    It’s true that money does affect sleep. When I’ve got a potential issue related to money or something around the house that worries me (which inevitably leads back to ‘how am I going to pay for that’) it causes me to lose sleep. Usually for me, if I wake up for one of the kids or to go to the bathroom, I can fall right back asleep, but if something triggers in my mind relating to money, it causes me to stay up and worry.


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