Tips to fix working from home sleep problems
Author: Jonathan Warren
It’s no secret the worldwide pandemic has had a profound impact on daily life. But it’s also had a profound impact on our nightlife, too – and we don't just mean that the nightclubs are closed! With working from home being the new normal for many across the country, our sleep has undoubtedly suffered.
In this blog, we take a look at some common sleep-related woes that arise from remote working and share our top tips to fix working from home sleep problems.
How working from home disrupts your sleep
Once the preserve of doctors appointments, childcare and the odd Amazon delivery, working from home has traditionally been seen as a convenient workaround for busy lifestyles. But for most of the across the UK over the past 18 months, working from home is now our new normal and whilst it works for some, WFH can be as much a curse as a blessing for others – particularly where sleep is concerned.
With the majority of us being confined to our homes, the lack of routine has had us all on Zoom calls in our loungewear, rolling out of bed just before 9AM and Googling “can working from home cause insomnia?”
Primarily, our sleep suffers when we work from home because our routine goes out of the window. Regular bedtimes are forgotten, alarm clocks are kept on snooze and the days turn into an endless blur of work and Netflix. And if the lack of routine isn't enough to throw out your circadian rhythm, the constant pressure to be ‘on’ when you're at home means many of us aren’t properly switching off from the 9 to 5 and damaging our mental health. Stress, poor mental health and disrupted sleep patterns are key cheerleaders for insomnia which can form part of a very vicious circle.
How to improve your sleep if you're working from home
Everything coronavirus related can seem pretty relentless, especially after over a year of lockdown restrictions having completely changed the way we live, work and sleep. We've put together our top working from home wellbeing tips, designed to help relax your mind and improve your sleep.
1. Setting up a proper work space
It's very tempting to reach for your laptop and begin tapping away from the comfort of your bed as you rub your eyes awake in the morning. But this can cause real problems for your sleep – and your work! Working from your bed is likely to cause you posture problems that leave you achy come bedtime and being in a constant state of semi-sleepiness means you're probably not going to be as productive or focused as you could be. It’s a lose-lose situation, sleepy friend!
If you're lucky enough to have the space, going to work in a separate room from where your bed is located is a great way to separate work from rest – but at the very least, make sure you vacate your sleeping sanctuary and get down to business from a desk in your room. And remember to make sure that wherever you set up shop you keep an eye on your posture as bad posture is a sure fire way to guarantee aches and pains and a disrupted sleep.
2. Get outside and get moving
Whether it’s a morning walk or a HIIT class with Joe Wicks, moving your body is fantastic for the mind. Natural light and exercise can lift your mood and reduce your overall tiredness during the day. If you're overwhelmed by working from home, getting outdoors can help you break the cycle of being constantly available for work and give you space and time to reconnect with yourself, lowering your stress levels and boosting your chances at a better night's kip.
3. Ditch the pyjamas
An easy way to get back into a good sleeping pattern and separate work from sleep is to change your clothes! We've all been able to enjoy getting away with calls on Zoom in the comfort of your pyjamas but putting on a change of clothes could help lift your mood and help you distinguish work time and you-time!
4. Routine, routine, routine!
Routine was the first thing to go when the first lockdown hit but trust us – you need one! Your natural body clock, known as circadian rhythm, thrives with routine. The more you rise and shine at a regular time, the more likely you won't even need an alarm clock. And if you're heading to bed at 9.30pm on the dot every night, then the chances are you will be falling asleep quicker.
The same goes for shutting down your laptop. Sometimes life will get in the way, but if you keep to regular start and finish times for work, you'll be able to unwind, de-stress and improve your sleep quality tenfold.
5. Carve out some you time
It's very easy to find yourself working constantly when you're working from home – and it’s easy to see why. You're at home, so you should be working right? Wrong! Just because you're home doesn't mean you should be slaving away all hours. Try logging off at regular times when you've finished work and resist the temptation to check your emails on your phone. And don't forget to take some regular breaks when you're actually working to make up for those missed conversations with colleagues over a coffee in the office.
Taking some time for yourself to enjoy a Netflix show, practice some yoga or go for a ‘virtual commute’ walk can help you to unwind and disconnect from working when you're at home.
Reading is also great for your mental health and wellbeing – read more in our blog on How Reading Before Bed Can Improve Your Sleep.
6. Upgrade your sleep station
If you're not getting into bed and letting out a soft purr at the sheer amount of snuggly comfort, it's time to level up your mattress game. If you need some mattress inspo, look no further than these sleep station sensations below.
A combination of traditional pocket springs with the latest memory foam technology makes up this marking-leading mattress. The Memory Pocket Plus 2000 comes with a medium firmness rating, includes 40mm of high-grade open cell memory foam and 2000 individual pocketed springs which adapt seamlessly to your night-time movements and provide you with the ultimate foundations for a quality kip.
The Sleep Sanctuary Essentials 3000 Mattress is exactly what it says on the tin – an essential part of any sleep sanctuary. This luxury but affordable mattress comes with 1500 pocketed springs and an additional layer of 1500 micro springs designed to give you the dreamiest blend of comfort and support.