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Frederic Cirou—Getty Images

This Worry Keeps 62% of Americans Up at Night

Jun 25, 2015

Most Americans are losing sleep over a financial concern, according to a new report.

A survey conducted by CreditCards.com found 62% of respondents said they were being kept awake by at least one financial problem. That number is lower than during the tail end of the recession in 2009, when 69% of Americans said they were losing sleep over their finances, but still worse than the beginning of the financial crisis in 2007 when the proportion of those kept awake stood at 56%.

Among those who are losing sleep, the most common fear is not saving enough for retirement. About 40% of Americans report they sometimes stay awake worrying about their retirement savings, and as many as half of respondents between age 50 and 64 say this concern keeps them up at night.

The second largest worry is educational expenses, which keeps 31% of the population—and 50% of 18-­ to 29-year­-olds—from slumber, followed by 29% of Americans who stay restless over medical bills.

Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com, said the results highlight how record levels of student debt have taken a toll on students and recent graduates. "It kind of confirms a lot of what we've seen," said Schulz. "The education costs are the only financial fear that has continuously grown in all of the times we've done this survey."

He also offered suggestions for how people stressed out by their finances can finally get some shuteye. "People lose sleep when things seem out of their control, and a lot of folks with student debt feel like it’s out of their control," the analyst noted. "It’s important that people who are losing sleep and feel out of control take some sort action, whether they're making a budget, or getting a side job—doing something that can help them get a little control over their financial issue. It may not solve their financial problems, but it might help them sleep better at night because they feel like they're doing something about it."

He also pointed out that, perhaps unsurprisingly, Americans making over $75,000 per year were less likely to lose sleep than those with lower incomes. "They say that money can't buy you love or happiness but our survey shows it might be able to buy you a better night's sleep," Schulz added.

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