How Working From Home Affects Your Sleep
In the era of increasing digitization and a pandemic, it’s understandable that the proportion of remote jobs is increasing. COVID-19 disrupted office life and sent millions of workers all over the world home worldwide, dissipating traffic and commutes. Many workers found themselves using their own computers in the safety of their own home, lowering their risk of infection and sickness.
But even as the United States recovers, many companies are still staying remote after realizing the benefits outside of viral exposure. From lowering carbon footprints, saving gas, and giving employees more time to sleep in and take care of their family members.
While the results of working from home have mainly been positive, there’s been a few drawbacks aside from the wrong person dancing behind you while you’re on Zoom calls:
A survey of 2000 people actually found that 70% of home workers actually reported disturbances to their sleep! Another one found that remote workers were at the bottom of the list on sleep quality with government workers on top. There could be multiple explanations behind this: a more flexible schedule can lead some of us to sleep really late since it’s not obligatory to wake up at 7 am the next day…until a coworker calls and wakes us up. Sitting at home surrounds us with all kinds of temptation to watch Netflix or clean all day until it’s 11 pm and we’ve barely gotten any work done, prompting a later bedtime.
Here’s some of our tips on how you can keep your sleep in tip-top shape while working from home:
1. Keep your work and bed separate.
This is pretty self-explanatory: don’t bring your work to the bed! If possible, keep your work as far away from the bedroom as you can. The bed zone is filled with sights and feels that are associated with sleep, which is something you don’t want to be thinking about while you work.
2. Maintain some exposure to daylight.
Exposure to daylight stimulates the circadian rhythm, particularly in keeping you awake. When you’re working from home, you aren’t getting as much sunlight compared to the days of having to walk to the car or bus. Open as many windows as you feel comfortable with. If you feel like you could use even more sunlight, take your breaks outdoors. Go for a walk, run, or even a short local hike if you have time!
3. Keep connecting socially.
One of the main drawbacks to working from home is the physical distance between yourself and your coworkers. There’s room for banter on Slack, but it’s not quite the same as being in the same room. Wait, what does socialization have to do with sleep? A healthy dose of it can help ease stress and anxiety, such as kicking back with your buddies at lunch and venting about difficult clients. Destressing is extremely important to falling asleep on time, since unreleased stressful thoughts can bounce around banging pots and pans in your heads.
But what about introverts? Well, socialization wears you out, right? Doesn’t sound like such a bad option when you need to sleep then!
4. Shut down screens an hour before bedtime.
If you’ve read our other blog posts, we’ve mentioned a few times that staring at a TV, iPad, computer, or phone right before bed can push away that sleep onset, since the blue light they emit suppresses melatonin production. A lot of people working from home might spread out their working hours, which could mean sitting in front of a computer at 11 pm. So even if your coworkers can’t see you online at night, your melatonin can. Move your hours back and replace that late-night work session with some meditation or a book.
5. If you aren’t already, get some exercise.
Plenty of research shows that exercise can help you fall asleep faster. A lot of people don’t get too much of it though, with much of our movement being walking to and from public transit. So if that was the only way you were walking more than five steps before your shift home, get some exercise. Plenty of YouTubers have strenuous, high-impact free workouts accessible anytime that’ll get you sweating right in your living room.
6. Sleep on the right mattress.
One of the fastest ways to restructure your sleep schedule and fall asleep on time is by doing it on the most comfortable mattress ever, such as the Lull premium memory foam mattress. As of Labor Day 2021, you won’t have to break the bank to do so — we’ve got a $300 off sale to celebrate!