Our sleep quality can vastly affect our work productivity. Taking the time to adjust your routines during working hours can improve your sleep quality and help you fall asleep faster. Building solid habits takes time, but every step closer to healthy sleep hygiene gets you closer to restful sleep.
Studies show that 1 in 3 Americans don’t get enough sleep. Whether they struggle to fall asleep or they can’t seem to stay asleep, the truth is they’re waking up sleep-deprived. Employees regularly tired at work are more prone to burnout, mental health disorders, and workplace injuries.
Sleep Hacks for Bedtime
Taking the time to ensure your bedroom is set up right to promote sleep will help you in your habit-building efforts for better sleep.
Less Blue Light
Power down the electronics and try reading a book in soft light before bed in an hour or so. With our highly digitized society, it’s hard to escape the screens for more than a few minutes in a day. If you can avoid screen time an hour or two before bed, your mind will have an easier time slowing down into sleep. If you must have your phone or tablet near your bed, take steps to reduce the blue light through filters.
Your mattress and bedding can make or break your comfortable sleep cycles. If your mattress isn’t the best suited to your sleep positions, you’ll wake throughout the night with aches and pains that aren’t conducive to rest. Your bedding choices can also impact your restfulness. If your sheets are not wicking moisture away from you as you sleep, you may be getting too warm at night. Natural fibers such as cotton or silk can help lower your sleeping temperature and keep you comfortable.
Create an Evening Routine
When we hold ourselves to a routine, our minds and bodies get used to doing certain things at certain times. If you train your mind to recognize specific actions as signs of bedtime looming, it will help your body start producing sleep chemicals.
Some suggestions are to turn the lights down in the hour before bed. Turn off the TV and turn on some gentle music while doing your hygiene regimen before bed, gentle yoga stretches, and meditation. Some people find a hot shower or bath before bed an effective way to relax away from the day’s tension and start the night ready to rest.
During the Day
The actions you take during your daytime hours can impact how you sleep that night. Changing some habits can benefit your sleep cycles and help you feel more rested.
Get Some Sunshine
Take a 10-15 minute walk during your lunch break or after work each day. The sun helps your body produce needed vitamins and helps keep your circadian rhythm on track. If you work nights and don’t have a lot of time for the sun, try adding a light therapy lamp to your workspace. Do what you can to fill your workspace with natural light to help with your productivity.
Avoid the Afternoon Pick-Me-Up
If you’re regularly experiencing the mid-afternoon energy crash, don’t reach for another cup of joe. Instead, drink some water, each a healthy snack high in protein, and avoid caffeine in the six hours before you plan to sleep. Resetting your sleep by preventing afternoon caffeine consumption can reduce your dependency on coffee and energy drinks by allowing you to get full restful nights of sleep.
Exercise in the Morning
Getting your blood pumping in the morning can boost your energy throughout the day and encourage a healthy metabolism. Some studies suggest that ten minutes of fitness focus each morning is more effective at waking you up and moving you into productive mode than a cup of coffee.
Sleeping when you’re surrounded by clutter and mess can cause anxiety and tripping hazards. Take some time each day before you start your bedtime routine to tidy up your sleeping space so you can start fresh. Plus, you’ll feel more accomplished knowing it’s one less thing you have to deal with in the morning.
Add Some Green
Houseplants can bring fresher air and a more peaceful sleeping space. Not only do plants add to the atmosphere of an area, but they can help dampen sound from rowdy neighbors or housemates and can help lighten your mood when you wake up.
Whichever changes you make, keep them up until they become a habit. Building solid habits around sleep will help you get the most from your rest.