A Majority of Americans Are Losing Sleep — Here’s Why

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Sleepless Nights

The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on average Americans. Millions lost their jobs and are draining their savings or sinking into debt to pay everyday living expenses. Reopened businesses and relaxed lockdown restrictions have done little to help. A September COVID-19 financial impact survey of 1,500 Americans by home buying and selling site Clever finds many Americans still struggling to get by and losing sleep over, well … nearly everything.

Related: 10 Things Robbing You of Sleep, and How to Beat Them

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Who's Up

The survey’s findings suggest 84% of Americans have experienced sleepless nights since the beginning of the pandemic: 50% losing sleep about the COVID-19 pandemic itself and 49% attributing their insomnia to the current state of the world. Getting more detailed, respondents said they tossed and turned with worries about their children or families (44%); thinking about not being able to pay bills (40%) and losing income (37%); and about running out of savings (34%).

Related: Energy Assistance Programs in Every State

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Debt, Debt, and More Debt

Between September and April, when Clever conducted its first COVID-19 survey, the number of people reporting they were taking on additional credit card debt to cover expenses rose to 18% from 8% — more than 2.3 times. In addition to people shifting to using credit cards to survive, 1 in 4 Americans are taking on more non-mortgage debt as a result of the pandemic.

Related: 26 Tactics for Getting Out of Debt

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Living Paycheck To Paycheck

The 62% of Americans reporting they now live paycheck to paycheck is a jump from the 54% who reported it in April, meaning the financial picture is worse for many even since businesses have reopened and some jobs returned. Households earning more than $100,000 aren’t exempt: 42% said they were living paycheck to paycheck in September. All in all, Americans are 27% more likely to live paycheck to paycheck now than before the pandemic.

Related: States Where People Use Debt the Most Just to Survive

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Changing Our Ways

The survey may not be all doom and gloom: While 40% answering regretted not having enough emergency savings or retirement savings (32%), the survey finds 41% saying they’ll put more into emergency funds, and save more for the future. Only 10% of respondents say they’ll return to their freewheeling habits once this crisis is behind us.

Related: 15 Ways the Coronavirus Has Changed Americans' Daily Lives