Complex Made Simple

All you need to know to sleep well and be productive

Poor mental health, low productivity, and sleep disorders often go hand in hand. Here are some important tips to get the right dose of zzzzs and return to productive living

Searches for sleep anxiety rose by 317% on Google trends comparing January 2019 to January 2021 Sacrificing sleep for work, then working more to make up for lost productivity can become an exhausting cycle Working at different times every day makes it harder for your internal clock to keep your sleep-wake cycle on track

Over the years, more people are turning to sleep aids to get their eight hours.   

A recent study by hybrid mattress brand OTTY has looked into the increasing sleeping problems across the UK throughout lockdowns.

Searches for sleep anxiety rose by 317% on Google trends comparing January 2019 to January 2021.

Poor mental health and sleep disorder often go hand in hand, and a recent study found that the amount of people suffering from sleep issues has risen from 16% pre-pandemic to 25% during lockdowns.

Things you need in your room to help you sleep better 

Research shows that your bedroom’s environment can impact your sleep, from going to bed to waking up in the morning.  Cool temperatures signal to the body that it’s time to fall asleep so set your bedroom’s thermostat between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Let’s look at three other factors that can impact your sleeping: smell, noise, and environment.

Smell- Pillow Spray

Lavender oils are renowned for their relaxing effects. It has been found to increase slow-wave sleep, essential for slowing your heart rate and increasing muscle relaxation – thus promoting sleep. However, you should avoid citrus-smelling essential oils like orange and lemon.  

Noise- White Noise Sound Machine

Drown out the city with a white noise machine by your bed. The neutral non-repeating sound from white noise will help put your body in a state of relaxation. 

Environment- Wake-up lights

There’s nothing worse than the sound of a harsh ringing alarm when you wake up in the morning. Wake-up lights where some create your own personal sunrise, a gradually brightening light that gently rouses you from sleep so that you feel naturally wide awake when your alarm goes off.   

Read: World Health Day: Be careful how you lose weight, and don’t lose sleep

Read: Dream come true: Sleeping at work becomes big business

Sleep deprivation and work performance

While work schedules and stress can affect sleep, the opposite is true as well. If you’ve ever nodded off at your desk or during an important meeting, you know that sleep loss can have a detrimental impact on work performance

Sleep deprivation can leave you feeling tired, less creative, and make it more difficult to stay focused on important projects.

Sacrificing sleep for work, then working more to make up for lost productivity, can become an exhausting cycle.  

People who are sleep-deprived are also more likely to make errors and omissions.

It may mean missing an important phone call or not responding quickly in conversation. In other professions like doctors, first responders, and truck drivers, slow reaction times can be the difference between life and death.

Sleep deprivation has even been linked to several infamous workplace accidents, including the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and the Challenger space shuttle tragedy.

Chronic sleep loss increases the risk of more serious mental health conditions, like anxiety and depression, that can make being productive at work even more challenging.

It’s estimated that reductions in productivity, motivation, and healthcare costs related to fatigue cost individual employers around $1,967 annually per employee.  

Sleep and remote work

It’s today easier than ever to do a full day’s work within the comfort of your home. But is that the best thing for you?

Studies suggest sleep loss is another possible consequence of loneliness.

And if you’re trying to replace traditional social interaction by spending more time on social media? Too much time on social media can impact your sleep, as well.

To fix your remote work sleep patterns, here are a few suggestions:

Maintain a consistent schedule

If you’re working at different times every day, it’s harder for your internal clock to keep your sleep-wake cycle on track.

Create a workspace outside the bedroom

When you work and sleep in the same room, then your brain often associates any stress or anxiety you feel while working with your sleeping space.  

Treat your bedroom as a sanctuary away from the troubles.

Watch your F&B habits

Restrict your caffeine intake to morning and early midday. Caffeine takes hours to leave your system.

Try to have your last heavy meal 3-4 hours before bedtime. Digestion can keep you from a good night’s rest.