Tips for Improving Sleep While Working from Home
The COVID-19 pandemic ironically brought about a paradigm shift in business operations..
To ensure their team members’ safety, companies have allowed employees to work at home. Many more have opted to do freelance work, giving them absolute control of their time and income. This scheme surprisingly benefited everyone. For example, businesses were able to reduce business costs and crowding in their physical workplaces. Workers now have more time for themselves and their families while still churning out work. Working at home seems like a dream come true for many people, with the past few years seeing work-at-home arrangements increasing at around 43%.
Ironically, however, by bringing their hectic schedules home, people are getting less quality rest time. Juggling between family time and work, people often find themselves having fewer opportunities to get proper rest and sleep. In addition, the convenience of working at home allows many to procrastinate. Meaning, they work hard during the later hours of the day, encroaching their bedtime.
Simple Tips in Improving Sleep Quality If You’re Working at Home
Having adequate, good-quality rest is important to maintain optimal physical and mental health. However, adjusting to a brand-new routine that involves bringing office tasks at home and spending the bulk of the day indoors can be difficult. Here are a few tips on how to get those well-deserved ZZZs so you can stay in tip-top shape while ensuring things are running smoothly business-wise while you’re at home.
1. Change your mattress
Have you been sleeping on an old, moldy, creaky bed? Then perhaps it’s time you change it. Your mattress is crucial in giving you high-quality sleep. A clean, comfortable, top-quality mattress lulls you to sleep the moment your body hits the cushions. It allows fewer or no interruptions while you sleep. A good mattress also helps keep your body in proper alignment as you doze off, preventing sore joints and muscles and rejuvenating your body when you wake up in the morning.
When picking the right mattress, make sure you find one that’s right for you. For example, are you a side sleeper? Then a softer mattress will provide you with much-needed pressure relief on your elbows, hips, and shoulders---sensitive parts where most of your bodyweight presses on as you sleep. Do you sleep on your stomach? Then a firmer mattress may be ideal for you to keep your spine in proper alignment as you doze off in a prone position. Do you sleep with a partner? Then choose a mattress that has good motion isolation properties so your sleep won’t be interrupted as your partner shifts their position.
Also, note that there are many types of mattresses available: memory foam, latex foam, hybrid, and innerspring beds are some of the most common ones in the market. Each has its own distinct characteristics. Sleep sources such as the manufacturer’s website, its customer service reps, health and wellness websites, and even scientific journals can help you determine the right mattress for you. According to an innovative bachelor’s degree in product design, we can define the discipline of design as pervasive intelligence that invites us to find new solutions and generate values for the world around you.
2. Take a relaxing shower or bath before bedtime
You might think that a shower or bath isn’t necessary if you work at home. After all, you won’t be going outside where you get hot, dusty, grimy, and sweaty. However, a shower and bath before bed cool down your body, which induces that nice sleepy feeling. In case you don’t know, metabolic processes lower your body temperature during bedtime to actually force you to hit the cushions. When you wake up, metabolic processes raise your body temperature to help make you feel energetic. In addition, by having a nice bath or shower, you slough off minute amounts of dirt, dust, and dead skin cells. You’ll sleep feeling clean, fresh, fragrant, and cool.
3. Turn off your work gadgets and lights
Your circadian rhythm, or body clock, is responsible for the physical, mental, and behavioral changes that happen within your body in a 24-hour cycle. The presence of light, and darkness, is the primary factor that affects your circadian rhythm. At night, the darkness triggers the body to secrete melatonin, the hormone that induces sleep. However, the light of your gadgets such as cell phones and computers suppresses your melatonin secretion, making it more difficult for you to sleep.
Induce melatonin by turning off all light sources such as overhead lights and desk lamps. Turn off electronic gadgets because the screen emits blue light that can disrupt your melatonin production. Make your room as dark as possible by installing blackout curtains. Wear a sleeping mask so it will be pitch black when you sleep. Additionally, avoid having any gadgets or appliances running in your bedroom. LED indicator lights, no matter how faint, look incredibly bright in a darkened room.
4. Bask in the sun during daytime
After waking up, it’s a good idea to walk outdoors, exercise, or stretch in your garden. The light of the morning sun energizes you and helps keep your circadian rhythm stable. This is why morning light is considered the most important light of the day, much like breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. In addition, the morning light is a natural antidepressant. Feeling sad and disappointed over an uncooperative teammate? Feeling anxious over an unfinished project? Take the dog for a walk in the morning. You’ll feel better when you go back and sit down to work.
5. Stick to a regular sleep schedule
Human beings are wonderful organisms. Our bodies have the ability to remember things. For example, your immune system “remembers” a pathogen so that whenever that exact same pathogen enters your body, your immune system destroys it before it can wreak havoc. The same principle applies to your circadian rhythm. Your body “remembers” the exact time you sleep. For example, if you’re used to hitting the bed at 10:00 o’clock in the evening, you start feeling sleepy at around 9:30 pm. Your body is telling you it’s time to sleep based on your sleeping schedule.
Thus, it’s important to stick to a sleep schedule. If you feel sleepy at a certain time, stop your work and doze off. Obey your body. It’s important to know that you can adjust your circadian rhythm by changing your sleeping schedule. Following the example above, if you want to sleep earlier, you can hit the bed at 8 PM. It would be difficult to fall asleep for a few weeks as your body adjusts to your new schedule.
6. Avoid taking caffeine a few hours before sleeping
Many people who work at home love coffee---in fact, it’s an iconic must-have for a lot of freelancers. The caffeine in coffee is a stimulant that helps keep you alert and active as you work. However, that effect can be long-lasting, depending on your coffee’s strength. As such, don’t drink coffee, soda, energy drinks, or any caffeinated drinks for that matter a few hours before turning in. The stimulating effect of the caffeine will keep you tossing and turning in your bed. It will kick your mind into overdrive, keeping you from falling asleep.
As a rule of thumb, don’t drink coffee 5 hours before bedtime. Don’t forget to drink a lot of water as well, as coffee is a diuretic. In addition, it’s often best to eat a light, nutritious dinner no later than 3 hours before bedtime. This prevents that full, annoying, bloated feeling and, at the same time, helps you fall asleep faster and easier. That also means no bedtime snacks.
7. Relax and think nothing about work at bedtime
It’s tempting to be “always on your feet” when it comes to your work. However, this same mindset can prevent you from falling asleep. Why? You’re always stressed and anxious to finish your task. You’re constantly worried that you won’t be able to finish your projects at a given time frame. But you need to realize that work is always there; it won’t go away. It doesn’t matter if you can’t beat the deadline. It doesn’t matter if you can’t finish your task as instated in your daily plan. There are ways to deal with this such as:
- Compensate on the following day or days.
- Negotiate with your boss or client for an extension.
- Designate team members to help you with the task.
- Ask help from a teammate.
- Use apps to help streamline your work.
- and many more..
As someone who works at home, it’s incredibly easy to overlook your health; you’re just sitting there in front of your computer all day. But remember that taking care of your health is very important. Think about it: you can’t work properly if you’re sick---if you can work at all. And having a good night’s rest is always an important factor in achieving optimal health. If you enjoyed this Mod, you might like to read more about whether you are a Lark, Owl, or Hummingbird, based on your sleep schedule! Please share this Mod with your friends, family and colleagues via the social links below.