Mental Health Last updated on 2021-03-23 12:38:24
Quiz: Is Work Stress Giving You Sleepless Nights?
- Ms. Deepanwita Roy
- 4 Min Read
A good night’s sleep is essential for our overall health. Sleep troubles can affect our lives in many ways—it can make us feel mentally slower and more emotional, which can exacerbate our experience of stress. Dealing with troubled sleep can also cause stress, which can lead to stress-related insomnia. Studies suggest 90 to 95 per cent of employees still continue to work from home in this new normal. Insomnia, backaches, restlessness, stress & anxiety are among the side effects that people are facing from prolonged work from home routine. While we initially enjoyed staying and working from home, but now, work stress is gradually started taking a toll on our health. For many, working from home has not only blurred the line between personal and professional life but has also emerged minor to major sleep deprivation, sleep disturbances & in some cases insomnia. To understand the extent of your sleep issues, ask these following questions to yourself:
Do you find it difficult to fall or stay asleep at night?
Do you feel tired or fatigued during the day time?
Do you have a strong urge to take naps during the day?
Has your sleep been disturbed during the night with constant tossing and turning?
Do you experience unintentional changes to your sleep/wake schedule?
Does your sleep impact your daily activities and work?
Progressive muscular relaxation exercise (PMR)PMR is an accepted evidence-based intervention to address mild to severe sleep problems, anxiety & stress. Tension in your body can make it difficult for you to sleep, while most people don’t even realize when they’re stressed about something, their bodies are feeling the stress, and are tensed up as a result.
JournalingIf you find yourself waking up in the night because you can't stop thinking about something that's causing you stress during the day, journaling may be an effective technique for you. Journaling can help you clear your mind, process strong emotions that are causing you to lose sleep, and brainstorm and construct plans that can help you manage your stress.
Develop healthier habitsThere might be multiple causes behind your troubled sleep but what will definitely help you is to develop healthier habits:
- Exercise helps relax your body and mind. However, you shouldn't do it before sleep, as it will make you feel awake.
- Looking at cell phones and computer screens keeps us awake, so avoid doing it later in the day.
- Find out what stops you from going to bed at the same time each evening. You might realize it's just a force of habit.
- Set your schedule and routine. Establishing a routine can facilitate a sense of normalcy even in abnormal times. It’s easier for your mind and body to acclimate to a consistent sleep schedule.
Reserve your bed for sleep onlySleep experts emphasize the importance of creating an association in your mind between your bed and sleep. For this reason, they recommend that sleep and sex be the only activities that take place in your bed. This means that working-from-home shouldn’t be working-from-bed. It also means avoiding bringing a laptop into bed to watch a movie or series.
Getting back to sleep at nightOn any given night, if you find that you’re having a hard time sleeping, don’t spend more than 20 minutes tossing and turning. Instead, get out of bed and do something relaxing in very low light, and then head back to bed to try to fall asleep.
Changing bed environmentFrequently changing your sheets, fluffing your pillows, and making your bed can keep your bed feeling fresh, creating a comfortable and inviting setting to doze off. If you’ve been considering refreshing your bedroom setup with a brand new mattress, sheets, or anything other sleep products that need an upgrade, now might be the time to consider doing so.
Expose yourself to enough sunlight throughout the dayExposure to light plays a crucial role in helping our bodies regulate sleep in a healthy way. As you deal with disruptions to daily life, you may need to take steps so that light-based cues have a positive effect on your circadian rhythm. If you can, spend some time outside in natural light. Even if the sun isn’t shining brightly, natural light still has positive effects on circadian rhythm. Many people find outdoor time is most beneficial in the morning, and as an added bonus, it’s an opportunity to get fresh air. As much as possible, open windows and blinds to let light into your home during the day.
Be mindful of screen timeThe blue light produced by electronic devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, and computers, has been found to interfere with the body’s natural sleep-promoting processes. As much as possible, avoid using these devices for an hour before bed. You can also use device settings or special apps that reduce or filter blue light.
Be careful with daytime napsIf you’re home all day, you may be tempted to take more naps. Rather than approaching naps haphazardly, consider a more intentional and consistent napping schedule. In addition to reducing sleepiness, napping can improve learning, help with memory formation, and assist with our emotional regulation. It’s important to note that naps should be limited to just 10-20 minutes, however, as longer naps can leave one feeling groggy, while shorter naps simply aren’t long enough to reap the benefits.
Contact your doctor if necessaryIf you have severe or worsening sleep or other health problems, it is advisable to be in touch with your doctor. Download the MFine app and speak to a doctor or psychologist online from the comfort of your home.
Consult a Psychotherapist
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