Dream On: Why Sleep is So Important (Infographic)

I know plenty of people who think that sleep is unimportant. Or beyond that, they feel they maximize their productivity or value by sacrificing sleep. I’ve never held that this is true. In college I pulled my fair share of all-nighters and I’ve been known to keep a late night or two—but I’ve always held that sleep is far more important than most people think, and that sacrificing it can actually be fairly costly as far as productivity, and at worst, can actually be quite dangerous.

This infographic showcases some studies on just how dangerous—and costly—sacrificing sleep can be, and it concludes with some facts on how you can try and improve your sleep quality if it’s something you struggle with. I hope you find it informative and helpful, and I hope that it persuades any stubborn night owls out there to try to get a little bit more shut eye now and then.



  1. A good 6+ hour sleep is mandatory for me, and god help whoever gets in the way of my weekend morning sleep-ins. Awesome infographic as usual.

  2. I am unsubscribing from your blog due to the problem of all infographics appearing in my reader feed three times, which is extremely annoying, and which I and others have mentioned in the past but you haven’t addressed. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

  3. Your infographics are always so impressive! I think those of us in the personal finance community are particularly interested that losing sleep can actually cost us money, in terms of lost productivity and damage to property (among other things). Great post!

  4. Very enlightening! I guess it’s also important to get long periods of uninterrupted sleep. I know when I “sleep” for 8hrs… but an waken up 5 times, it feels like I had 2hrs sleep.

    I think we can thank the good ol’ electric lightbulb for our lack of sleep these days!

  5. If we are sleeping 20% less on average than 100 years ago, and a lack of sleep is so deadly, why are we living an extra 25 years? Maybe there are benefits associated with not sleeping as much, such as accomplishing more in life.

    Further, I don’t see the statistic that people who sleep MORE than 8 hours a night are at an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, etc., just as people are when they sleep less than 6 hours a night.

    • I’m pretty sure the extra 25 years of life has more to do with a million health care improvements, among other things, rather than a 20% reduction in sleep.

      And as for the connection between sleeping more and increased heart attack and stroke, increased sleep itself likely isn’t causing anything. It is more likely that people that have certain illness or disorders (which predispose them to heart attacks, strokes, dm etc) end up sleeping more. So the cause effect relationship is actually the other way around.

      Webmd article

  6. I couldn’t agree with you more about the importance of sleep! The correlation with the loss of productivity’s particularly interesting, especially when you consider that many people think pulling all-nighters for a project actually does any good.

  7. Last summer I did an experiment to see how what I ate would affect my mood. What I found out was that lack of sleep affected my mood mor that what I ate. A weekend away with my college roommates was fun, but sleep deprived. Boy was I cranky when I got home!

  8. Hi!

    Thanks for contacting me. This is a great infographic. Very helpful. I find going to bed the same time every night the hardest habit to form.
    Being a nigh owl will cause that!

    This is great information. Thanks for sharing.

  9. I sleep at least 8 hours a night and proud of it. At 50 I feel great.. !!!!

    I get more done when I sleep 8 to 9 hours a night than when I sleep less and feel tired all day.

  10. Thanks for letting me know about this post and the graphic. It is awesome. I wish I had some skills with graphics. I will be posting this on my sleep blog sometime in the next week. Thanks again.


  11. This was very informative. Thank you! I am going to use this information for our next safety huddle at work.

  12. There are a few errors in the graphic you may want to fix-
    The cooling tower that you have used to represent the nuclear industry have the international sign for bio-hazards. I assume that you meant to illustrate the trefoil, a symbol for radioactivity.

    Also, including Chernobyl and Three-Mile island is itself problematic. Those disasters had very little to do with sleep deprivation. I am sure that a driving statistic for deaths from sleeping at the wheel would have been much more appropriate.

    Since I am offering unsolicited advice, might I suggest creating an infographic blog separate to the frugal blog. I subscribe to quite a few infographic blogs already, though it seems that not all of the FD readers share my interest.


  13. woww. I knew sleep was important but I never knew that after 24 hours with no sleep made you as impaired as a legally drunk person. Great article

  14. Like the graphic, and the info! Thanks 🙂
    One question: where did you get the information that REM sleep is the DEEPEST sleep? I was under the impression the opposite is true: it is the sleep closest to waking state.

    From Holland,

  15. Love the info graphics. Very nice, and so true!

    I know how important enough sleep is, yet sometimes I still try to operate when I’m so tired that I can barely keep my eyes open.

    Renewing my commitment to getting enough zzzz’s 🙂



    P.S.: I might put that link on my blog…

  16. This is very cool. I didn’t know these three big disasters were caused by lack of sleep. I’ve shared this with my email list and told everyone to stop by your site!