For many people, jobs operate on a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule, leaving plenty of time for relaxing and sleeping when the workday is done. But for many, nontraditional work hours or extra-long days can cut into other areas of life, including getting enough sleep. Even when office hours are manageable, job stress can keep people up at night, and the global nature of some businesses mean employees are answering emails around the clock.
You know that sleep is important for your health, and it is key for your work performance, too. Getting enough sleep can prevent difficulties with your memory and alertness that arise when you’re tired. Stay on your game at work with these tips for better sleep at home.
Put the Phone Down
Bringing your laptop, tablet, or phone into the bedroom can prevent you from getting enough sleep. The reason? The blue light that electronics emit sends signals to your brain to remain alert. Your best strategy: Make sure to turn off your phone and other devices an hour before bedtime.
Get a Workout In
Sometimes, work can be stressful, and job worries can keep you alert long after you should be asleep. You may be able to ease these anxieties with exercise. After work, attend a Pilates class, walk around the block a few times, or go for a jog in the park: All these activities can help relax you, making it easier to fall asleep at night.
Consider a Nap
There are many benefits of taking a power nap—either when you get home from your job or during your lunch or mid-shift break (if you can find a private spot to do so). A short nap can help you to recharge. Keep yours to about 20 minutes, which is the sweet spot when it comes to napping. If you sleep for longer, you risk getting into a deep sleep phase waking up feeling more tired than before your nap.
Make Time for Mindfulness
After you’ve put aside your electronics and paperwork and turned the TV off an hour before bed, consider sitting quietly and just letting your mind settle. A few minutes of meditation or slow breathing can help reduce any work stress you’re experiencing. In a world where many people are tied to technology, it’s good to remember not everything is as urgent as it feels. The truth is, a lot of those emails can wait until tomorrow, while a good night’s sleep cannot.