Do you like snuggling up in your cozy bed after a long day? Until about two years ago, beds were generally reserved for sleeping. Since 2020, however, their importance in our daily lives has reached new heights. Life has changed and our living spaces have turned into workplaces, daycares, schools and cinemas, and our beds have become makeshift desks. At first, most people probably felt like they had hit some kind of professional jackpot. As the days and weeks passed, working from home turned into working in bed, and we all thought we were living the dream.
Fast forward two years later, and many people are only now discovering the horrible truth. Working from bed might be the easiest commute in the world, but ultimately you’ll have to pay a heavy price, and the price is good quality sleep. Read on to see how working out from bed can ruin your sleep, and then be sure to check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong, Toned Arms in 2022, the trainer says.
When you work from your bed, your brain begins to associate your bed with work, and this is often the first ingredient in the recipe for poor quality sleep.
Etienne Lumiereco-owner of Mattress Nola and Certified Sleep Science Coach, says, “To get the best quality sleep possible, our brains need to be able to link bedrooms and beds to sleep; this strong association is what helps trigger restful sleep once as we slip into bed.”
Over time, working from bed can really ruin your circadian rhythm (or your body’s natural clock), making it exponentially more difficult to fall asleep. Light goes on to say, “Working in bed can sever this connection and cause the subconscious mind to associate the bed with alertness, stress, and activity. Once the bed-sleep connection is weakened, you may find yourself unable to fall asleep, tossing and turning, and waking up tired.”
Plus, when you work in an office, you have clear boundaries between work and home (and, by extension, relaxation and sleep). When you’re working from your bed, there’s no proverbial light switch, so to speak, to flip at the end of the workday. Ultimately, this leaves you with an “always on” mindset, and by the time bedtime finally arrives, your mind is still signaling that it’s time to work, not sleep.
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If you’re not good at setting boundaries and maintaining a good work-life balance, you’ll probably find yourself working until bedtime. And while you may think it’s great for your productivity, the truth is that exposure to blue light until bedtime can also interfere with your sleep.
According to Light, “Working on a device that emits blue light in bed, especially at night or just before sleep, can inhibit the brain’s production of melatonin, leading to poor sleep quality and insomnia.”
Exposure to any type of light suppresses your production of melatonin by the body. And while that’s bad enough on its own, exposure to blue light (courtesy of your laptop, smartphone, tablet, and even your TV) can have a much more powerful effect, with research showing that exposure blue light can suppress your melatonin manufacturing for twice as long. At the end of the day (literally and figuratively), you just don’t feel sleepy while using your devices. So you end up scrolling aimlessly while you wait to sleep.
Beyond disrupted sleep cycles and suppressed melatonin production, pain can also interfere with your sleep. Leaning against a headboard or lying on your stomach for hours on end can wreak havoc on your back and your posture. Light says, “Working from bed can put a strain on our backs, joints, necks and hips, leaving us sore and sore, [resulting in] aches and pains [that] can easily disrupt our sleep.”
If your living conditions require you to work from your bed, here are some tips to help you improve the quality of your sleep.
If you have to work from your bed, do your best not to burn the midnight oil. Set office hours and stick to them.
In addition to maintaining mental boundaries between work and sleep, consider creating physical boundaries as well. Light suggests assigning work zones and sleep zones. “If you can, place a desk or small table in your bedroom to make a clear distinction between work and sleep,” says Light. “You could even use a dresser or chest of drawers as a makeshift desk.”
The light also suggests thinking about ergonomics. Not only can this alleviate pain issues, but it can also help you maintain the association between bed and sleep. He says: “If your only option is to work from your bed, be sure to support your back and recreate an upright sitting position as best as possible. This way your body is at least still able to associate the lying position is sleepy.”
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A cluttered and disorganized space can be counterproductive to feeling relaxed, and your bedroom is no exception. A messy desk in an office miles away won’t bother anyone, but when you look at a mess from five feet away, you’re less likely to get quality sleep. If you have to work from your bed, take a few minutes to clear the clutter at the end of the day. Better yet, try to allocate a space where you can store your work essentials out of sight until you “get back to work” the next day.
In addition to adhering to strict office hours, you may also consider monitoring your screen time. To avoid any hitches in your melatonin production and sleep/wake cycles, try turning off your devices at least two hours before bedtime.
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Getting up and getting dressed every day is another way to help you draw a line in the sand. No, you don’t have to go as far as office attire if you don’t want to, but consider getting ready and dressed (as you would for a job away from home) . At the very least, get out of your pajamas. Remember, it’s all about the connections in your brain. The simple act of taking your pajamas off and on every day could also signal your brain that it’s time to work or go to bed.
Good sleep hygiene and quality sleep go hand in hand. So if you’re working from your bed, don’t forget the basics.
- Stabilize your circadian rhythm by maintaining a consistent sleep schedule.
- keep your room costs and dark when you’re not on the clock.
- Establish a calming bedtime routine.
- Regular exercise.
According to Light, setting the stage for sleep at the end of the day can make a big difference. “It may be a good idea to remove all your comfortable bedding and use a brighter light setting while you work, and when your workday is over, replace the bedding and dim the lights to signal your brain that the bed now serves a different purpose,” he says. “These symbolic differences can help you get out of work mode and into sleep mode.”