This year, all of our work schedules are completely different thanks to COVID-19 and, with a large proportion of companies switching home-based operations, many employees are finding that they can get their job away from the office environment. Whilst it is a privilege to be able to work from home, it also comes with its own unique challenges. Now, many of us are working where we live and living where we work, meaning that the work/life balance is in more disarray than ever before. 

Being able to switch off and get ample rest is hard when you’re thinking about forgotten tasks or looming deadlines. When you’re working from home, getting a good night’s sleep is essential. As we head into winter, the mornings are getting darker and the days are shorter, so now is a great time to improve your sleep schedule and routine. 

Figure Out Your Natural Body Clock

Before March 2022, most people’s mornings were filled with the rush of the morning commute and jam-packed schedules after an early morning alarm. From the school run, heading to the gym or simply just preparing lunch, everything was planned and fitted into your busy day. Now, with working from home, we’re getting up later and have more spare time in the mornings, which is great for figuring out your body’s natural body clock when it comes to your sleep pattern. 

The issues with alarms are that they tend to wake you whilst you are in a deep sleep cycle, which then makes you feel more tired and fatigued during the day. Rapid eye movement, or REM, sleep tends to happen towards the end of our sleeping period, so alarms usually cut that short. You’ve probably noticed that you’re now going to bed at a more reasonable time, and waking at a slightly later hour than you used to. If this is being mirrored during the weekend, then it is likely that this is your natural body clock. If you’re one of the many people who are now reporting vivid and intense dreams, this is likely a side effect of adapting to a new sleep schedule!

Stick To A Sleep Schedule

It’s important that figuring out what sleeping and waking times are best for you, but it is just as important that you try and maintain some kind of schedule. It’s great that people are getting the time to listen to their bodies right now and allow themselves to figure out a sleep schedule, but if you’re one of the many people suffering from insomnia symptoms during the pandemic, then this can be frustrating. Just as many people are suffering from sleeping problems as are improving their sleeping schedule. 

As some people aren’t having to get up at a certain time for work, or are staying up especially late, then this can cause huge issues with their sleeping pattern and schedule. Without the requirement to be somewhere, it’s hard getting a sleeping schedule back on track. Even if you don’t have to be up for work, you should try setting an alarm so that you’re not disrupting your natural sleeping pattern too much by staying up late and getting up late. Waking up in the morning means you have more chance of being tired once evening rolls around and falling asleep quicker.

Pay Attention To Your Activity Levels 

It’s great if you’re continuing to stick to a firm fitness regime whilst working from home, the same as you would if you were working from the office. However, even if you’re working out just as much as you were before the pandemic, it is highly likely that you are missing out on a lot of the unaccounted movement and steps that you were doing as part of your daily life. 

Some people can go days on end without going outside when working at home and it is so important to fit time in to go out and get some steps and fresh air. Think about it, you used to walk to work or to the train during your work commute and then walk around your office building, pop out for lunch or head out after work without a second thought. 

Not getting enough exercise in during the day will mean that your body and mind just isn’t as tired when it comes to the evenings, meaning it can be harder to get to sleep, plus you’re missing out on natural light which can affect your sleeping schedule. Try getting up throughout the day and walking around your home at least, taking the stairs a few times. Ideally, go for a walk outside before work if you want to up your vitamin D levels, during your dinner time or for an hour or so after work – listen to a podcast or some upbeat music to make it more enjoyable and consider taking vitamin D tablets if you feel like you aren’t getting enough natural light, especially during the winter months.