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How to Create a Proper Sleep Routine When Working from Home

by Bill Welles

Many of us are transitioning to permanent remote work following the coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention guidelines to remain at home, but spending an extended period at home can disrupt sleep routines and affect our energy levels throughout the day. Habit and routine are necessary for productivity both at home and in the workplace, but if home and work are becoming one and the same—how can we ensure that our bedrooms remain our at-home sanctuary for quality sleep? 

When navigating life in the “new normal,” there are a few things you should do to protect your sleep and a few things you should try to avoid. Follow along as we discuss how to create a proper sleep routine when working from home. 

1. Avoid the Snooze Button 

You may feel tempted to stay up a little later and sleep in a little longer; however, hitting that snooze button until moments before you need to log on for your 9 a.m. meeting will only hinder your productivity to start the day. Sticking to a consistent routine each morning will help you awake feeling refreshed and more focused for the day to come. If you need to, plan ahead the night before—turn off all screens and devices an hour before bed and shoot for at least seven or eight hours of quality sleep. Thankfully, you no longer have to sit in bumper to bumper traffic, but getting to bed at a reasonable hour will only help you feel more alert and energized. 

2. Cool Down

You may still experience a heatwave or two this time of year, and with that late-afternoon sun glaring in through your window, your bedroom can become uncomfortably stuffy and warm. Our bodies are designed to drop one or two degrees at nighttime to begin the sleep sequence which is why we sleep more soundly in a cooler environment. So, before you put on your pajamas and get tucked into bed, consider cracking open a window or turning up the AC. 

Your bedding material can also play a role in your sleep routine. Linen is an eco-friendly option that is great for sleeping cool through the night. If you find yourself kicking off the covers or feeling too warm to sleep, your sheets may be a heavier, more constricting material that doesn’t breathe as well as linen.

3. Get Out of Bed

Your mind should associate your mattress or bedroom with sleep; knowing only to lie down when it’s time to rest your eyes and drift into dreamland. If you stay in bed for most of the day, that much relaxation can send a message to your brain that it’s time to sleep. You may start to yawn constantly or feel much more lethargic during the day. This feeling of malaise can be counterbalanced if you act as though you’re getting up to head into the office. This means—take a shower, comb your hair, shave your face, make the bed, eat breakfast—anything you would normally do in your everyday routine. As comfortable and invigorating as it is to wear sweatpants to work, you’ll feel more professional and ready for the day when you wake up and stick to a set routine each morning.

4. A Nice Nap

A power nap, catnap, or a quick snooze—whatever you want to call it, a brief afternoon nap can recharge the batteries to increase focus, alertness, and creativity. It’s not too difficult to accidentally doze off for longer than you should, so stick to around 30 minutes if you need a quick rest. Sleeping longer than that during the day can leave you feeling sluggish and craving even more sleep. 

5. Proper Sleep Sanctum

We already mentioned having good quality sheets, but relaxing colors and fresh scents can also help maintain your bedroom as your calming Zen space. Your bedroom should be a place you look forward to unwinding in at the end of the day, and the way your bedroom plays into your senses can help with a proper sleep routine. 

If you can remember, try to wash your bedding at least every other week to ensure your sleep space is hygienic. And a helpful pro-tip—try ironing your sheets after the wash. This will press away any wrinkles so your bedding is soft and snug, and the iron will help kill off any remaining allergens or bacteria.  

6. Set Your Work Schedule  

Your sleep routine and your work schedule go hand-in-hand. When you define your work hours, you’ll be better organized and less distracted during the day, and this helps create the same strong habit needed to stick with a nightly bedtime routine. If your home is full of family members or kids that make their way into your home office, communicate with them the hours you are available so you don’t experience constant disruptions. If you’re having to work later into the evening because you couldn’t stay focused during the day, then you’re already setting yourself up for a late night working and increasing the chance that you’ll wake up the next day feeling groggy and behind on your sleep. 

It can be difficult to relax and fall asleep with the lingering worries of our health and safety, but keeping up on our rest is vital during these stressful times. If you feel like you need a little extra help falling asleep each night, here are 10 podcasts and sleep apps that can help ease your mind through meditation, calming sounds, and soothing stories.

If that still isn’t enough, give us a call or chat with us today to discuss our entire catalog of mattresses and sleep accessories. We have everything you need for a proper sleep routine so you can always wake up feeling refreshed and well-rested.