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More than ever before, many of us are working from home this year. Which means many of us have taken our laptops into our bedrooms, and sometimes even into bed with us. While working from the comfort of your room may seem like a luxurious idea at first, you may actually be ruining your sleep. And worse, tainting your bed & bedroom with the stress and active mindset of work. Keep reading to learn the many reasons why you should separate work from your bedroom.
Below are several key reasons why separating work from your bedroom is necessary. It might not seem like a big deal, but having defined areas that keep work and sleep apart are important to your mind and body.
Your bedroom should be a sacred space reserved for rest and relaxation. This is not to be pretentious or stuffy about your space either. By limiting the kinds of activities you do in each room you are sending a lot of signals to your brain about what is expected in this room.
If you have ever felt a sense of dread as soon as you walk into your office, why on earth would you want to bring those feelings into your bedroom of all places?
When you start bringing your work into your bedroom, your brain will attach all the daily stresses and anxieties that work brings into the place where you wish to sleep. This makes it much more difficult to fall asleep at night, when it feels like you have just arrived at work every time you enter your bedroom.
Learn more about stress and sleep in our post: Why Can’t You Sleep When You’re Stressed?
When you set the precedence that it is okay to do work in the bedroom, it blurs the boundaries between work life and home life. Making it more difficult than usual to abstain from work at inappropriate times. Like checking your emails right before you go to sleep. The laptop is right there, or perhaps you even have your work emails go through to your phone. You get a notification, and now suddenly without much thought at all you are answering work emails at night when you should be sleeping.
What is the issue? It is a simple email that could be replied to quickly and efficiently. Here is the issue, not every email is simple and stress free. Perhaps you get a stress inducing email that sets you off. Or an issue that is overwhelming, but you can’t do anything to fix the issue until the morning.
The main problem with taking work calls or emails in bed is that it is disruptive. It can cause unneeded stress and anxiety for things that often can and should wait until the morning. Boundaries are important for our health and wellbeing. Lack of boundaries can ruin sleep and relationships.
Click the link to start your morning out right: Stress Free Morning Routine
In the same light of it being difficult to focus on relaxing and sleeping. It can also be difficult to focus on work when you are working from your bedroom. This space is typically used for rest, relaxation, and personal time. Which can lead to procrastination and a lot of distractions.
This can make it difficult to concentrate on work and be productive. There are so many opportunities to distract yourself. Not just with music, tv, kids and so on, but also with chores.
It can be hard to focus on a project at work when there is a pile of dirty clothes that need washing and a bed that needs to be made.
You won’t have to worry about a messy bed when you make it every morning. Read our post to learn more: Why You Should Make Your Bed EVERY Morning
Our circadian rhythms work off of many external signals in order to determine when it is time to be awake and alert, and when it is time to go to sleep. When you work and sleep in the same environment, all of your signals can get mixed up.
This can lead to restless nights and lulls during the day. You may find you have the urge to take more naps. While it takes more time and effort to fall asleep at night.
You can remedy this by creating a separation between your work environment and your sleep environment. Preferably having a completely separate space where you work and sleep is ideal.
However, we do have some suggestions on ways to create a different feel even in the same space in our next section.
Your circadian rhythm typology can affect more than just your sleep. Learn more in our post: Chronotypes: Your Circadian Typology
The best thing you can possibly do if you have no space other than in your bedroom, is to create something that feels like a separate work space. If it is a small desk in the corner of the room, try to create ways to differentiate the space from when it is time to relax, to bed time.
A great way to do this is with changing up the atmosphere. Perhaps whenever you are working you turn on the overhead lights and certain music playlist.
While at night, when it is time to sleep, you use a lamp and different music all together. Even if you do not have much space to physically distance your work space from your bedroom. You can still make the space feel very different from when you’re working to when you go to sleep.
Having a routine that you go through every evening before bed can help to trigger your circadian rhythm.
Going through your routine taking a warm bath, changing into pajamas, brushing your teeth, sitting down to read or watch a show. Whatever your relaxing bedtime routine is, by doing these actions your are sending signals to your brain that it is time to sleep.
Just like your morning routine of getting ready for the day, changing your clothes, having a cup of coffee can all help send signals that it is time to get the day started. Routines can absolutely help you to stay in sync with your circadian rhythm.
Click to learn how to create a Stress Free Nightly Routine
Separating work life and home life has always been something that many struggle with. With working remotely becoming more of the norm these days, it is becoming even more difficult. Especially for anyone lacking extra space for a dedicated home office. We hope some of the insight into why work and bedrooms should be separated help you to create a change in work and sleep environment, even if you are dealing with limited space. It is astounding how much a change in routine and environment can make a space feel completely different. Remember to work and and sleep well!
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