The Impact Of Working Remotely On Sleep Quality & How To Improve It

These days, remote flexibility is more than a preference for many workers. Although some of us are lucky to be working from a spare bedroom or kitchen table, some have difficulty distinguishing between day and night. Yes, you heard it right. For some workers, especially “night owls,” working remotely has completely shattered their sleeping patterns.

A study from the year 2021 found that people who worked remotely experienced high levels of anxiety, depression symptoms, and severe sleep problems (source). It shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear this, as the pandemic had chased many of us out of our offices and placed us in a new lifestyle where the lines between work and home life had completely merged.

Despite all the perks virtual workers enjoy, remote work has its fair share of challenges. And one of the most significant downsides to remote work is dealing with better quality sleep. Here’s how:

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  • Although working remotely can relieve the stress of morning rush hour, it can also snoop around and mess with your sleep schedule. This is because eliminating early wake-ups can either induce prolonged sleep hours or allow your body to wake up naturally during a light sleep phase. While some people may struggle to fall asleep on time and begin skipping their usual sleep hours.
  • There is no doubt that remote work requires more screen time! Having your eyes glued to all your devices can disrupt your sleeping pattern. This typically happens because electronic devices like computers and smartphones emit blue light, which is unhealthy for our eyes and, hence, can diminish your ability to wind down for a good sleep. 
  • Your body needs sunrays to have a restful sleep at night. However, people who work from home are more constrained by daylight. This can shrink their quality of sleep and cause several sleep-related issues.
  • Healthy physical activity can enhance a person’s ability to stay alert during the day and sleep soundly at night. But, working from home has a heavy chance of leaving you less physically active, which can indirectly inhibit you from getting better sleep.
  • Being cut off from social interaction can be highly unsettling and make you depressed and anxious. Such emotions can intensify at night and impair your sleep quality.

 

Due to the above reasons, your sleeping habits may enter the wrong sleep chain and cause further health issues. However, we won’t leave you here! We’ll also talk about ways to create healthy sleep patterns so that you can establish a reasonable boundary between your personal and professional lives.

Tips for Better Sleep While Working Remotely

1. Set boundaries

To avoid letting work take over your personal space, you must set some boundaries and build downtimes into your work days. This can free up your hectic schedule and help you maintain a peaceful work-life balance.

2. Get some sun rays if you can

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When working from home, we frequently feel out of sync with time. This usually happens when you don’t get enough sleep!

The circadian rhythm is in charge of regulating your sleep and wake cycles. Your healthier lifestyle is the main factor that triggers your circadian rhythm to function more methodically. When your circadian rhythm works more efficiently, you’ll have a restful sleep all night long.

But, if you do not give your body enough exposure to the sun, your circadian rhythm may suffer a lot. And you already know what the following consequences will be — you might develop poor sleep patterns. Therefore, try to get as much sunlight as possible while working from home!

3. Set aside your time to work out at home

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According to studies, performing just 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily can boost deep sleep by 31% (source). In addition, physical activities are more likely to release hormones that rejuvenate our bodies to facilitate better quality sleep. Therefore, make an effort to move your body, whether it be exercise or just a quick lap around your hallway.

Check out these top exercises that promote better sleep quality!

4. Stick to your sleep schedule

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With a “remote work culture” in place, irregular sleep patterns are bound to grow. Such depriving sleep cycles can throw your body’s internal clock out of whack, making it difficult for you to get the “deep sleep” required to feel rested when you wake up. Remember that you can only improve your sleep quality if your sleep cycles are consistent daily. To do so, schedule your wake-up and sleep times and stick around them.

5. Establish a workspace away from your bedroom

Many remote workers find “peace and quiet” working from their bedrooms, but a bed or bedroom might not be a suitable place to work. Because our brain often creates associations with its surroundings, it may begin to associate your bed with productivity and work. In other words, working in your bedroom can pull your mind back to “work mode” when it’s time to sleep.

Therefore, you must consider your bedroom a restful place and set up your permanent workspace in your living area or a spare room. You might feel like “your work is present in the hallway, and your personal life lies in your bedroom.” 

If you are fortunate enough to have the option to work from home, it’s vital to blur the lines between sleep and work life. However, if your mind can’t discern when to exit “work mode” and when to enter “sleep mode,” working from home doesn’t have to doom you to a poor night’s rest. Hence, try the above guidelines to train your mind to promote better sleep while also ensuring a high level of productivity at work!