It’s been four long weeks (did anyone notice how long March was?) since the coronavirus lockdown began, and for many of us, working from home has become the new normal.
People working remotely is not a new concept, however the global Covid-19 pandemic means that a larger proportion of us are now working from home, as advised by the UK government.
But what many people don’t realise is that working from home can often negatively impact our sleep. Disruptions to our normal day to day routine, not to mention stress and anxiety, can have a knock-on effect. As a result, you may find that your sleep has been affected since you began working from home. Luckily, as the experts in rest, we have a few simple tricks to help you get a good night’s sleep.
- It’s important to keep a regular daily routine to keep you mentally focused and your body clock in sync. Our sleep/wake schedule is controlled by our body clocks, so try to go to bed and wake up around the same time each day.
- Before you start working from home, or when taking a break, get some fresh air. A brisk walk around the block or just ten minutes sat in the garden with a morning cuppa can make a big difference.
- Put boundaries in place. While there is flexibility in working from home, don’t be tempted to ‘available’ at all times. Checking emails or even working too close to bedtime could see you having trouble falling or staying asleep.
- Have a designated area for working, and where possible commit to using it only during work hours. Avoid working in your bedroom, as this should only be used for sleep. Working from your bed may seem appealing, but it’s no good for your posture or productivity.
- Take regular breaks. Even if you find that you can work solidly at home for hours at a time, take the opportunity every hour to stretch your legs and get a change of scenery. Your brain will thank you for it, and it’ll make it easier for you to switch off at the end of the day.
- Working from home can be surprisingly hard on your mental health, which in turn can affect your sleep – especially during stressful times. You may miss the social interaction of being around your colleagues, but luckily there are many platforms for people to stay connected. From Zoom to Skype, Microsoft Teams and even WhatsApp, find what works for you and your colleagues to stay in touch.
It’s no surprise that when our sleep is disrupted, our performance suffers. So when you need to get a good day’s work done at home, follow these tips to get your routine in check and help your body and brain relax.