Whether you’ve been on furlough throughout lockdown, or you’ve well and truly immersed yourself in the working from home lifestyle, chances are your sleep routine isn’t quite what it used to be. Without the need for a commute in the morning, many of us might be hitting that snooze button a few more times than we used to and going to bed later than we probably should. With offices and other places opening up across the country, more and more of us are having to go back to work and that earlier wake up may be filling us with dread. So, how do you fix your sleep schedule ahead of the first day back for a smooth transition? We’re investigating, below.
Set A Bedtime
When it comes to creating a bedtime routine that will ensure you get enough sleep, you need to calculate how much you need, and what time you will ideally need to go to bed in order to get the full time and still wake up on time the next morning. On average, a sleep cycle will take approximately 90 minutes and for most of us, we need five of these cycles in order to feel fully rested and ready to take on the day. This amounts to around 7 ½ hours of sleep needed per night. To calculate the best bed time for you, simply calculate backwards from the time you need to wake up. You could also try apps that track your sleep and wake you up at the best point in a sleep cycle to reduce tiredness and improve your morning.
While it’s important to have a routine to ensure that you’re getting the most from your sleep, you also need to be realistic in your expectations. If you get too obsessed with sticking to exact schedules, this could have an adverse effect on your sleep, including making it difficult to fall asleep due to stress or worry if you’re running late. It can also make it difficult to relax in the run up to bedtime, leaving you tense and stressed as you try and sleep. Setting realistic goals, even if it’s as simple as “around 10pm”, can help relieve that stress and get you into a realistic and relaxing routine.
Make Sure You Have The Best Sleeping Arrangements Possible
While you might be sleeping for 7.5 hours a night, if the quality of that sleep is poor, it won’t be worth it and you won’t get the same effects. Over the course of lockdown, many of us have been using our bedrooms as our offices or in some cases, simply spending more time in there than we used to, so now might be the perfect time to create a new atmosphere that’s entirely separate from daily life. A new bed can be a great treat for your body and mind, giving you something to look forward to after a long day back at the office.
Make Gradual Changes
Fixing a sleep schedule can be a long, drawn out process and so it’s important to understand that gradual changes are often the best solution. If you try and immediately go to bed earlier in order to get up earlier, then you may find that you lay in bed for hours, tossing and turning and not getting much sleep at all. Moving your usual bed time forward by around 10-15 minutes every few days can help to make the transition easier and smoother. If you find that you can’t sleep, don’t lie in bed – instead, get up and do another activity, whether that’s reading a book or something else that you find relaxing.
Relax Your Mind First
You’re never going to sleep well if your mind isn’t relaxed too. We’re all guilty of laying awake thinking and worrying from time to time, so make the effort to give your mind a chance to relax long before your head hits the pillow. Take time each evening to do something you enjoy that’s relaxing, ideally something that doesn’t involve the computer or your phone. If you prefer to use your computer, you could use blue-light blocking technology in order to reduce the effects on your sleep, and you should avoid anything related to work, the news or other stress-inducing situations.
Talk To Your Employer About Flexible Working
Lastly, if you just can’t seem to get a new routine under control, talk to your boss about flexible working. As more and more of us have been working from home, more and more employers are seeing the benefits of flexible working. Even if you’re expected in the office every day, you may find that your boss is open to the idea of you arriving later in the day, and working later in the evenings. This could also help you avoid rush hour commutes both on the way to work, and on the way back.
For information about how a new bed could improve your sleep, or for help picking the right frame and mattress for you, get in touch with a member of our team, today.