It’s easy to slip into weird sleeping schedules during quarantine, especially if your online classes or work-from-home setup doesn’t give you the same sense of structure that you had before the pandemic. When this is the case, it’s hard to keep track of how much time passes.
With everything going on in the world, it’s understandable. But, it’s important to not get comfortable with unhealthy sleeping schedules. Not only are there adverse physical effects that come with it, but it can also mess with your mental health and productivity.
Here are some tips to try out if you need to fix your sleeping schedule:
Separate Your Spaces of Rest and Work
If you can, avoid making your bed your designated space for work and study. Working all day in bed will keep you from drawing the boundary between your job or studies and rest. This makes it harder for your brain to recognize it’s time to sleep because you’re still occupying a space where your mind is usually engaged.
Stay Away From Screens
Especially now with our gadgets being the main way to stay connected while in isolation, the desire to have your phone with you at all times is valid. However, using them stimulates our brains and blue light from screens can keep us from feeling sleepy. So, putting your phone away before winding down can do wonders for your ability to fall asleep.
Create a Routine
This doesn’t just mean planning when to sleep and wake up. Having a routine you can stick to during the day, even when you’re just at home, that includes when to work, eat, do chores, and do recreational activities can establish structure in your everyday life. This helps reinforce a stronger sense of time in you, which can make sleeping at your designated bedtime easier.
Working and studying from home means you have more freedom with your free time. It’s tempting to just take naps when you’re on a break or immediately after your workday during the window that you used to spend on the commute. While it’s normal to take short naps occasionally, napping excessively can disrupt your sleeping schedule and make it harder for you to wind down at night.
Keep a Sleep Journal
This can be a physical journal, a note on your phone, or a specific app. Remember that tracking doesn’t just mean logging in what time you sleep and wake up. It can also include things like what and when you eat, how much exercise you get, your mental state, and other factors that may play a role in your sleeping habits. Identifying these and getting a bigger picture of your behavior will help you recognize why your sleeping schedule is the way it is and will make it easier to come up with solutions.