Proper sleep hygiene is one of the tools to fight stress caused by work from home. Even though working from home has a range of benefits, the main issue is the fact that our work and personal time seem to blur and it takes a toll on our sleep and ultimately health. In order to have quality sleep every night, we should build structure into our entire day and learn how to wind down with ease.
The following timeline will help you build structure into your day so you’ll be able to sleep like a baby at night.
7.30 am Wake uptime
Waking up at the same time every morning is the first thing that will help you sleep better at night. Once you wake up you should stretch, get a glass of water and step outside for at least 15 minutes. You can go on your balcony or take a short stroll to soak up some sun. Exposure to sunlight upon waking up will awaken you and strengthen your circadian rhythm.
8 am – 4 pm Work Time do’s and don’ts
We spend at least eight hours of our day at work every day. There are certain things you should do so you’ll stay awake and alert during work hours. You should eat energy-boosting foods like protein, healthy fats and complex carbs. Stand up every hour to sneak short bursts of movement into your day to reduce pressure on the spine caused by sitting a lot. Also, remember to take your breaks, eat away from your workstation and reduce eye strain. The biggest don’t is drinking too much caffeine while you work. Caffeine lasts for six hours so make sure to drink your daily cup of joe sometime between 10 am and 12 pm.
4 pm to 5 pm Get creative
Once you finish work, you should take an hour for yourself to reduce work-related stress. Being triggered by things that happen at work or our to-do list is inevitable. But, we can spend our time on activities that reduce stress. Creative work redirects our thoughts and has therapeutic effects on our emotions which further aids our sleep. Painting, crafting, reading, sewing and even doing your nails can be your creative outlet.
5 pm to 6 pm Exercise
Regular physical exercise is another tool you can use to banish stress, wind down right after work, reduces the side effects of sitting and also helps to sleep better at night. You can equip your home gym with a durable power rack, dumbbells, yoga mat and some resistance bands and you’ll be able to exercise just as hard as you would at the gym. The timing of your exercise is the key to better sleep. If you can, exercise early in the morning. Otherwise, aim to exercise at least four hours before sleep so your muscles will have time to relax and properly wind down.
6 pm to 7 pm Do some yoga
Daily yoga practise should be another activity in your wind down afternoon routine. Not only will various yoga poses improve your flexibility, but they will also improve your sleep quality. Yoga Hatha or Nidra is best to put your body at ease and wind you down properly. The goal is to prepare your body for sleep by reducing muscle strain caused by sitting and also exercising. Poses like legs-up-the-wall, child pose, forward bend, cat stretch and butterfly pose are just some of the yoga moves you can master to sleep better at night.
7 pm to 8 pm Take a hot relaxing bath
A warm bath is something you can use whenever you need a time-out and relaxation. The water temperature is the key here because it shouldn’t be too hot nor too cold as it will achieve the opposite effect of relaxation. Make sure water temperature is just warm and enjoyable. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to melt away stress with its soothing scent.
8 pm to 10 pm Tech-free time
Tech free time right before you go to sleep will ensure you fall asleep easier and sleep better. Allow yourself at least two hours of screen-free time to transition better to the state of falling asleep. Blue light emitted by screens can mess up your brain into thinking it’s still daytime. This suppresses your natural levels of melatonin, which makes it difficult for you to fall asleep.
If you incorporate this structure into your day, you will be ready for a good night’s sleep at 10 pm. By giving this timeline a try, you’ll take all the right steps that will ensure you build a perfect wind down routine while you work from home.