Housing cost worries affected 18 percent of Americans' sleep this...

Housing cost worries affected 18 percent of Americans' sleep this year, a 50-percent jump from last year's rate, according to Bankrate.com. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/yanyong

High housing costs could be impacting people’s sleep — or lack thereof, a new study shows. 

Housing cost worries affected 18 percent of Americans’ sleep this year, a 50-percent jump from last year’s rate, according to a recent study by Bankrate.com, a New York-based financial publication. 

“People are feeling noticeably worse this year,” says Ted Rossman, the study’s analyst. “It shows that the U.S.’s economic expansion has not helped everyone equally.”

In Nassau and Suffolk, 42 percent of homes are considered housing-cost burdened — defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as having housing costs exceeding 30 percent of income — well above the 33-percent national average, 2017 census data show.

To afford somewhere to live, Long Islanders often work multiple jobs, live with relatives and commute more than an hour to their workplace — all variables that may further compound sleep loss, says Qanta Ahmed, attending physician of sleep disorders medicine at NYU Winthrop Sleep Disorders Center in Garden City.

The Long Island housing burden highlights the study’s geographical findings, which note that Northeasterners are more likely to lose sleep over financial worries than other Americans.

Americans who parent young children or earn less than $30,000 a year lose even more sleep over financial worries, the online survey revealed.

“People really believe in family and supporting their kids, so they take on inordinate amounts of work to support them,” says Ahmed. 

Generation X loses the most sleep over housing costs, at 24 percent, the study finds. Millennials trail close behind at 20 percent, according to the survey of 2,504 Americans.

The study also finds that more than half of Americans say they lose sleep over a money issue. Other top stressors include everyday expenses, retirement savings, health care costs and credit card debt, the study found.

Americans are more proactive but less optimistic about solving their housing cost burden than they are about other topics they worry about, Bankrate.com data show. “This community is under an enormous amount of pressure,” says Ahmed. “It’s a public health problem, and the extraordinary cost of living is compounding it.”

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