The COVID-19 pandemic has changed virtually everything about how – and where – we work.
As more Americans than ever work from home, we are learning a lot about the benefits of remote employment. Convenience and comfort help many employees be more productive, happier, and more satisfied with their job in general. When you work from home, you can say goodbye to long and stressful commutes and hello to increased flexibility, as well as a variety of other advantages.
However, with all the positives of working remotely, comes a fair amount of challenges. For many people that have made the shift to working from home, their daily routines and habits have taken a major hit. And as a result, getting enough sleep (and ensuring sleep quality) has become a serious struggle.
How Working from Home Can Affect Your Sleep
According to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 35 percent of American adults don’t get the recommended amount of sleep each night. And even though you would assume that working from home – and skipping your commute – means that you can sleep for longer, that doesn’t appear to be true for most.
In fact, we have yet to see any data that suggests that remote workers are sleeping better than those that work somewhere on-site. Instead, many people realize that working from home not only throws off their sleep schedule but actually makes it harder to sleep well in general.
There are a few reasons that remote workers experience sleep schedule disruption, including:
- Your work environment and home environment are now one. When you spend workdays in a separate space from home, it is often easier to “leave work at the office.” Once you’re commuting home after a busy day, there’s a sense of transitioning to a work-free zone.
However, when your home office is your only office, you can find yourself spending more time working – and stressing over work issues. Instead of getting to bed at a reasonable time, you could end up staying up late to tackle work tasks or simply lying awake worrying about everything that needs to get done the next day.
- It’s not just your sleep habits that are changing; your daily habits may shift as well. For most people, working remotely looks quite a bit different than working on-site. One example is your work wardrobe: maybe you used to dress in business casual, but now, you just change to a fresh pair of sweatpants to start your day.
It’s not unusual to increase your coffee consumption habits while you’re at home too. When the coffee – and your favorite cookies – are just a few steps away, it’s hard to resist powering through your afternoon slump with help from caffeine and sugar. Unfortunately, those are exactly the culprits that can keep quality sleep at bay come bedtime.
Tips for Getting Better Sleep While Working from Home
If you’ve seen the quality of your sleep decline since you started remote work, you can improve both your day-to-day life and your work performance with a few simple tips. By making a few minor adjustments to your routine and environment, you can get back to sleeping just as well as you used to (if not better).
Get back into a routine
When your commute is just a 30-second walk to your spare room office, it can be tempting to let your usual routine go out the window. From hitting the snooze button to staying up extra-late, several seemingly-small things could be wreaking havoc on your daily routine.
For example, it might be tempting to go to sleep late on certain days so that you can stream your favorite television series. However, losing an hour or two of sleep can lead to emergency napping after lunch – and then struggling to fall asleep at night. Once you get off track, it’s often tough to get back on. But with a little self-discipline and a solid routine, you can see improvements in no time.
Stick to a sleep schedule, even on your days off
What do your weekend plans look like? Many people stay up well past their usual bedtimes on Friday night, watching movies or playing video games, then sleep in (or take a nap during the day) on Saturday or Sunday. While this weekend-style sleep pattern is easy to fall into, it can actually be a detriment to your sleep/wake cycle.
Your circadian rhythm is your body’s natural sleep schedule, and it’s at its best when you are waking up and going to bed at consistent times. Your body doesn’t know the difference between a weekday and the weekend, so switching up your schedule can completely throw off your rhythm. Instead, try to find a routine that works for you seven days a week so that you can support a healthy circadian rhythm and get sufficient quality sleep.
Cut down on screen time
These days, screens are everywhere – and if you’re working from home, you probably have even more screens than usual within arm’s reach. While there’s little you can do about working on a computer during the day, spending your evening hours scrolling your smartphone or tablet is something you might want to reconsider.
The blue light emitted from tablets and smartphones confuses your body, sending it a signal that it is still daytime. As a result, melatonin production (a chemical that helps us sleep) slows down significantly. So, when you’re done checking your social media and ready to turn in for the night, your body isn’t going to be prepared.
If possible, set aside the hour before bedtime as “screen-free” time. Read a book, take a bath, or do some light stretching, so that your body can naturally prepare for slumber. For nights when you can’t stick to going screen-free, activate “night mode” on your device to minimize the blue tone of the light and reduce the impact on your brain and body.
Improve Your Sleep Quality with a Premium Mattress from MATTRESS360 in Glendale, AZ
Everybody has experienced the world pandemic differently, but there’s one thing we can all agree on: in challenging times, the value of good sleep can never be underestimated. Whether you’re a new remote employee trying to adjust to work-from-home life or a longtime freelancer that’s always worked from your home office, a lack of sleep can become a big problem. Both professionally and personally, not being able to sleep well can impact your physical and mental health alike.
Make your sleep health a priority by upgrading to a high-quality mattress, one that’s well-suited to your needs and sleep style. MATTRESS360 is one of the top mattress stores in Phoenix, AZ, making it easy – and affordable – to find the right mattress for you. Our experienced, knowledgeable team can help you choose an option that fits your preferences, budget, and space, simplifying the mattress shopping experience.
You need good sleep to be your best self at work and home, no matter if (or how) those two worlds overlap. Make sure you’ve set yourself up for a good night’s sleep, every night, by coming to MATTRESS360 in Glendale, AZ today. Call (623) 376-8360 for any questions!