A clinical psychologist at Penn State Health offers tips to reclaim a good night’s sleep and establish a better work-home balance.
- Develop a daily routine. Doing regular tasks—waking up, taking a shower, eating regular meals, engaging in leisure activities, going to sleep—at set times each day helps regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm). “Sticking with regular habits keeps your circadian rhythm anchored like a boat in the ocean,” Fernandez-Mendoza said. It’s OK to sleep in one day a week or change things up a little, but the more consistent people’s routines are, the more they’ll improve their sleep quality.
- Separate “work space” from “sleep space.” Reserve the bedroom for two activities: sleep and sex. Keep electronics out of the bedroom. Choose another room for work, even if it is not a formal office.
- Bring in the light. Keep your workspace brightly lit during daylight hours by opening curtains and blinds. Absorb as much natural daylight as possible. At night, draw the blinds and keep the lights dimmer for at least two hours before bedtime.
- Step away from the computer. Build in 15-minute breaks during the workday for leisure time. Take a walk, enjoy a favorite activity or just take a coffee break – though don’t drink coffee too late in the day. Stay hydrated. Consider spending time outdoors in the daylight.