The relationship between sleep and income is undoubtedly more complex than what these WSJ Tanya Rivero and Karen Damato can cover in three minutes. But I'm sure we've heard the cautionary notes: That if we're often relying in espresso, pills, cigarettes or the like to stay awake and keep going, then we're probably sleep-deprived. If we're chronically in this state, then we impact our performance and we impact our income.
I eschew any practice that take research findings and apply them wholesale to our lives. Instead, as Rivero points out, we need to find out what is indeed optimal sleep for each of us. To the extent that we need to sleep more to get to an optimal amount, then work at it, perhaps in gradual, step-by-step fashion. Just tacking on one more hour of sleep in our schedule may not work so easily for some of us. But chunking that additional hour into, say, 15-minute segments, by sleeping a little earlier, then this may work. It may also mean, of course, cutting down gradually on that espresso, pills or cigarettes.
So if we are indeed chronically sleep-deprived, and we make concerted efforts to remedy that, then we're bound to see improvements in a host of things, from how we feel and think, to how we perform on the job and what income we earn.
Full reference on the study Rivero and Damato discuss (PDF): Time Use and Productivity: The Wage Returns to Sleep.