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7.4m lose sleep over money worries

Nearly one in seven Britons lies awake in bed at night worrying about money, a debt charity has found.

Those whose sleep patterns are being disrupted are typically losing 11 nights’ worth of sleep a year, according to the findings by StepChange Debt Charity.

Some 15% of more than 2,000 adults surveyed for StepChange said that being plagued by late-night thoughts of their financial difficulties is preventing them from sleeping properly. This equates to 7.4 million people across the country.

The most common money worries were a lack of savings, meeting the costs of essential household bills and debt problems.

Nearly two-thirds (61%) of those with money-related sleep problems said these affected their ability to concentrate and one-third (32%) said they held back their ability to get work done, stay awake during the day and to look after themselves.

Around 29% of those who have trouble sleeping because of their finances said this impacted on their relationship with their partner or spouse and 28% said it affected their relationships with friends or family.

The survey marks the launch of the charity’s “need to sleep” campaign, which aims to encourage people to recognise the impact of long-term sleeplessness on their wellbeing and tackle the root cause by seeking help with their money problems.

StepChange debt charity chief executive Mike O’Connor said: “Millions of people are being kept awake due to money problems. Money worries can impact on every aspect of a person’s life, from mental health problems, to relationship difficulties and to being able to do a good job at work.

“Reaching out for help to deal with financial problems can be a difficult thing to do, but people do not need to struggle alone.”

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