Working from Home and Its Impact on Your Sleep

Working from Home and Its Impact on Your Sleep

Findings from numerous studies over these past few years have indicated at-home work as a common contributing factor to sleep disruptions.

Since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, working from home has grown increasingly common. This trend shows no indications of letting up soon, and the general (if unnuanced) consensus among those who’ve made the transition seems to be that there’s little appeal in the hypothetical prospect of returning to a traditional work environment

However: findings from numerous studies over these past few years have indicated at-home work as a common contributing factor to sleep disruptions, with a staggering 70% of respondents reporting such trouble. Healthy sleep is critical component of general health, so this issue is certainly worth exploring. Follow along below to do just that.

  1. The Sleep/Posture Connection
  • No office-based employee was prepared for their home to suddenly become their workspace. The transition was, in a word, jarring—and there was plenty else collectively weighing on our minds. “Personal time” habits/tendencies crept into “professional time” activities, and largely without any of the furniture (et al) that had been conscientiously selected to facilitate… work. And so resulted a tremendous and convoluted clash of displaced but unshakable habits that persisted in an environment unsuited to them, i.e., home—an environment, mind you, where a highly disparate set of habits had long enjoyed, and did not yield, dominion…
  • -Which did a number on folks’ posture. Medical experts have observed a widespread, quickly-emergent slouchiness in the general populace.
  • Poor posture throughout the day can make for a pretty rough night’s sleep, but poor posture all day every day will make for decimated long-term sleep health.

Suggested remedies: 

  • Never work from your bed, your recliner, your favorite couch-segment… 
  • Be sure that your at-home workspace is best arranged to avoid all manner of craning and straining.
  • Invest in high-quality braces for whichever body parts seem likely to appreciate the assistance.
  • Get plenty of movement throughout the day. Stretch, pace, try to break your jumping jack record… Consistently sedentary bodies are more susceptible to injury, yes, but also illnesses both physical and mental.
  1. The Sleep/Mental Health Connection
  • It’s an intrinsic connection, this one. Our sleep tends to suffer when our mental health does, and vice versa. -Of course, this sets the stage for a (particularly) vicious cycle.
  • In globally turbulent times, the feelings of stress/fear/anxiety/depression et al initially brought on by “external” circumstances tend to bring out ostensibly unrelated psychological malaise—another potential vicious cycle, where negative feelings pile up, compound, blur, and multiply.
  • …This does a number on folks’ mental well-being, which in turn does a number on folks’ sleep—folks already inundated by irksome numbers. Any one of these problems can make the others worse. Sleep becomes increasingly tough to come by, which can make life abjectly miserable.
  • Yet… to keep oneself in work, one must persist in working—and the prospect/logistics of taking a “sick day” becomes rather muddled in a world where your home is your office, and video meetings are, well, meetings.

Suggested remedies, w/ introductory caveat: This author has no grounds for dispensing anything remotely interpretable as medical advice. It seems reasonable and appropriate, though, to remind any readers that mental health issues are indeed health issues. It never hurts to consult a doctor for guidance.

As for getting the sleep back on track, you might consider incorporating these “tangible” activities into your waking hours:

  • Limit your in-bed actives to the following—a comprehensive list: sleep and lovemaking. Per exhaustive clinical research, working/reading/watching TV (etc.) in bed—or even just lying there without the intention to sleep—can build subconscious associations that obfuscate the brain’s connection between “bed” and “sleep,” with expected results that you’re likely quite capable of surmising.
  • Do your best to maintain a consistent daily routine. Incorporate physical activity to whatever extent possible. Avoid overindulgence in junk food, especially leading up to (nominal) bedtime.


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This entry was posted on Friday, October 7th, 2022 at 4:18 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.