Sweet Dreams

Lately, it seems that almost everybody I talk to is having a harder time sleeping than they were 9 months ago. That doesn’t surprise me given everything that’s going on in the world today. Between COVID, the election and having kids home from school, the list of things that could potentially keep us up at night has been on the increase. Poor sleep at night not only impacts how we feel the next day but also comes with a host of other potentially negative side effects.

In his book, Why We Sleep, neuroscientist Matthew Walker offers a list of potential issues from sleep deprivation that range from memory loss and a compromised immune system to junk food cravings and mood swings. He also offers a super interesting scientific explanation of how he believes our bodies repair themselves during sleep and some suggestions on how to go about giving ourselves the the best chance for quality sleep.


If you’ve found yourself struggling to get a good night’s sleep, here are 4 of Dr. Walker’s 12 tips for getting better sleep.

– Stick to a sleep schedule – you should aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.

– Don’t exercise too late in the day – try to time it no later than 2-3 hours before bed.

– Avoid caffeine & nicotine – consuming these in the afternoon can effect your sleep.

– Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed – the presence of alcohol in the body can reduce your REM sleep.

Click here if you’d like to see all 12 of Dr. Walker’s suggestions.

Even after we’ve done the work to ensure that we have a solid sleep hygiene plan in place, there can be specific things in our lives that create stress and impact our sleep. One topic that is often a culprit is our personal finances. Sometimes the stress could be acute, like the loss of a job due to COVID, but other times it could be the low-grade stress of knowing there’s some financial detail we need to tackle. Or wondering if there’s something we’ve missed that needs attention. Several potential items and some possible solutions come to mind…

– If you’re concerned about how much you’re spending, you might consider creating a budget using YNAB or Mint.

– If you’re wondering whether you’re saving enough, you could build a financial plan. Knowing where you stand goes a long way towards assuaging worry.

– If feeling unprepared in the face of the unknown is keeping you up at night, you could increase the balance of your emergency account.

– If you’re wondering if you’re loved ones would be taken care of if you weren’t around you could review your insurance policies to make sure you have the appropriate coverage.

– Or work with an estate attorney to update or put in place a will and other important documents.

– Maybe the current headlines have you feeling anxious about your investments. A good conversation about your portfolio is only an email or phone call away.

– Or perhaps your feeling crunched for time. Perhaps there’s something you can delegate to create space for something you’ve really been missing.

I’ve always appreciated a good night’s sleep, but after listening to this podcast series with Matthew Walker, I’m even more convinced of the importance of catching quality zzz’s. If there’s anything related to your finances keeping you from resting well, please feel free to contact one of us at Beacon. We’d love to help.



Geoff Hall, CFP®
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My wife, Crystal, and I have been married for 11 years and have two kids, Cooper (10) and Rhodes (8.) When I’m not spending time with them you might find me downtown serving at our church, pushing my limits during a mountain bike ride or having coffee with a friend in the Five Points area. I've been a financial advisor for 29 years and I'm thankful for the privilege of shepherding my family of clients through the ups and down of the markets, and of life for that matter.