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Having trouble sleeping at night? Tired of counting sheep? You might want to get a financial advisor. A new study found that Americans who work with one tend to report lower levels of anxiety in their lives — and in turn, sleep better.

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The Northwestern Mutual 2022 Planning & Progress Study indicated that 54% of U.S. adults report feeling somewhat or very anxious about their finances.

However, that number drops to 46% for adults who work with a financial advisor, and to 47% for those who self-identify as disciplined planners.

In terms of quality of sleep, 81% of U.S. adults who work with a financial advisor — and 76% who say they are disciplined planners — say they sleep very well or somewhat well, the study detailed.

There are also generational differences, as Gen X are the worst sleepers, with 62% saying they sleep very well or somewhat well compared to 72% of Millennials polled and 71% of Gen X respondents. Boomers sleep the best, with 76% of the sample group saying they had few issues with sleeping.

Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com, told GOBankingRates that he believes a lot of people lose sleep over financial issues because they feel out of control, and they don’t know where to start.

“But when you do start moving in the right direction, that can provide instant relief, similar to that first blast of cool air conditioning when you walk inside on a hot summer day,” Rossman said. “Whether you get that help from a financial professional or a friend or family member or your spouse or some other means, it reminds me of that saying about how a long journey starts with a single step. Start working toward that debt payoff goal or that retirement savings goal or boosting your emergency savings or whatever is bothering you. It won’t be accomplished overnight, but momentum is important, and sometimes getting started is the hardest part.”

The study also found a correlation between people who identify as disciplined planners (and / or work with a financial advisor) and overall happiness. A full 87% of adults polled who work with a financial advisor (and 84% of people who reported being self-disciplined) say they are very, or at least somewhat, happy.

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To alleviate stress and anxiety, Rossman added that it’s very important to have a financial plan.

“The state of financial literacy is not great in America — most Americans don’t receive much (if any) financial training in school, and many don’t get much help at home, either. Money is a taboo topic within many families and groups of friends. This leads to feelings of insecurity, confusion and anxiety. A lot of people feel ashamed about how they handle money,” he said.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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