How to Get Better Sleep When Working Online Over 40 Hours Per Week

This post may contain affiliate links and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links – at no extra cost for you. Please read my disclaimer here.

In the age of hyper-connectivity, the boundaries between work and rest have been increasingly blurred. With the proliferation of remote work opportunities, many people are spending over 40 hours per week working online.

While this flexibility can offer immense freedom, and even result in business growth, it can also wreak havoc on your sleep cycle. Especially, when you are at the beginning. 

Starting your online business means that you will spend a lot of time in front of the screen, and very likely, that you will sacrifice sleep for a good online business that you can run from home. But getting quality sleep is vital, especially as you juggle demanding work schedules. 

In fact, according to CFAH sleep statistics, adults require 7-9 hours of sleep per night for optimal health, yet one-third of U.S. adults report that they get less than the recommended amount. 

Understanding the importance of sleep: A comprehensive look

When it comes to balancing a demanding online work schedule of over 40 hours per week, understanding the critical role sleep plays in your life can help you prioritize it. 

Understanding the importance of sleep: A comprehensive look

Sleep isn't just about clocking in a set number of hours on your pillow. It's a vital physiological process that impacts various aspects of your mental and physical health

When you compromise on sleep, you're essentially compromising on your overall well-being. 

Mental and emotional well-being: More than just feeling good

The importance of adequate sleep for mental and emotional stability can't be overstated. A consistent lack of sleep not only disrupts your daily activities but also poses long-term risks to your mental health.

Stress management: The cortisol connection

One of the most immediate effects of sleep deprivation is an increase in stress levels. Sleep plays a pivotal role in regulating cortisol, often dubbed the "stress hormone."

Higher cortisol levels are not just linked to feeling stressed; they also have downstream effects like increased inflammation and decreased immune function.

  • Balance Cortisol: Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep per night to help regulate cortisol levels.

  • Evening Routine: Establish a calming evening routine, such as reading or meditating, to lower cortisol levels before bedtime.

Mood regulation: Neurotransmitters and emotional balance

Lack of sleep can lead to a whirlwind of mood swings, irritability, and even susceptibility to mood disorders like depression and anxiety. 

During sleep, neurotransmitters—chemicals that help brain cells communicate—are replenished. This regeneration is crucial for maintaining an emotional equilibrium.

  • Deep Sleep Phases: The replenishment of neurotransmitters occurs mainly during the deeper phases of sleep, emphasizing the need for uninterrupted, quality sleep.
  • Consult a Professional: If you're struggling with severe mood swings, it may be beneficial to consult a mental health professional who can offer tailored advice.

Physical health: The underestimated importance

Physical health benefits from sleep in numerous ways that are not always immediately apparent. The risks of chronic sleep deprivation extend beyond feeling tired and impact everything from cellular level repair mechanisms to cardiovascular health.

Cellular repair: The overnight regeneration

While you're lost in dreams, your body is bustling with activity, focusing on cellular repair and the regeneration of tissues. These processes are vital for maintaining healthy skin, muscles, and organs.

Cellular repair: The overnight regeneration
  • Quality Over Quantity: It’s not just the duration but also the quality of sleep that matters in cellular repair. Aim for uninterrupted sleep cycles.
  • The Growth Hormone Factor: Most cellular repair happens during the phases of sleep when growth hormone is released. Ensuring a conducive sleep environment can help you reach these critical sleep phases.

Heart health: More than just pumping blood

Heart health is yet another domain where sleep plays a crucial role. Proper sleep helps regulate blood pressure and heart rate, both of which are vital for cardiovascular health.

  • Limit Stimulants: Substances like caffeine and nicotine can affect your sleep and consequently, your heart health. Try to limit their consumption, especially close to bedtime.
  • Regular Check-ups: If you have a history of heart-related issues, make sure to get regular check-ups to monitor how lack of sleep may be affecting your cardiovascular health.

By deeply understanding the various ways sleep impacts your life, you’re better equipped to make it a priority. In a world where your online work commitments easily stretch beyond the 40-hour mark, your dedication to ensuring quality sleep can make all the difference in your quality of life.

Analyzing work-sleep disruptions

Work, especially in an online environment, can disrupt your sleep schedule in several ways, affecting not just the duration but also the quality of sleep.

Blue light exposure

Computers and smartphones emit blue light, which is known to interfere with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.

  • Use Filters: Many devices now come with blue light filters, or you can install an app that adjusts the color temperature according to the time of day.
  • Limit Screen Time: Make it a rule to stop using electronic devices at least an hour before bed.

Inconsistent work hours

Remote work can result in a lack of fixed schedules, affecting your internal body clock.

  • Set Boundaries: Try to maintain consistent work hours to help your body establish a regular sleep pattern.
  • Take Breaks: Remember to take short breaks to relax and decompress, avoiding long stretches of continuous work.

Effective strategies for better sleep: A comprehensive guide

Once you're aware of the intricate relationship between your work schedule and sleep, it's imperative to act. 

Knowing is just the first step; implementing effective strategies, including tips for falling asleep can make all the difference when it comes to improving the quality of your sleep. Here are actionable steps you can take to make that a reality.

Sleep environment optimization: Create your sleep sanctuary

Your bedroom should not just be a place where you collapse after a long day of work; it should be a dedicated sanctuary for restful and rejuvenating sleep. Making slight alterations to your sleep environment can yield significant benefits.

Keep it dark: Block out intrusive light

Light is one of the most potent natural signals for our body's internal clock. Excessive light during the night can confuse your body, making it harder to fall asleep or stay asleep.

  • Blackout Curtains: Investing in curtains that block out all external light can be particularly beneficial, especially if you live in an area with bright streetlights.
  • Eye Masks: If curtains are not an option, a high-quality sleep mask can also effectively block out light.

Temperature control: Find your ideal sleep climate

Your body temperature naturally drops when you fall asleep, and a cooler room can facilitate this process. Maintaining an optimal room temperature can significantly enhance sleep quality.

  • Thermostat Settings: If possible, set your thermostat between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep conditions.
  • Bedding Material: Consider breathable bedding materials like cotton to aid in temperature regulation.

Dietary considerations: Eat your way to better sleep

Believe it or not, your diet has a profound impact on your sleep quality. What you consume in the hours leading up to bedtime can either help you drift off to dreamland or keep you tossing and turning.

Limit caffeine: Timing is crucial

Caffeine is a stimulant that can stay in your system for up to 8 hours. Consuming it late in the day can seriously impair your ability to fall asleep.

Limit caffeine: Timing is crucial
  • No Afternoon Coffee: Try to avoid caffeinated drinks after 2 p.m., or at least 6 hours before your planned sleep time.
  • Check Labels: Caffeine is not just in coffee; it's also in certain teas, chocolates, and soft drinks. Be mindful of this when consuming snacks or drinks later in the day.

Snack smart: Opt for sleep-inducing foods

Eating heavy or sugar-rich foods right before bed can cause discomfort and indigestion, which can disturb your sleep.

  • Light and Healthy: A banana or a small bowl of whole-grain cereal can be an excellent bedtime snack. They are light and contain nutrients that aid in sleep.
  • Avoid Heavy Meals: Try not to consume heavy meals at least 2-3 hours before bed to give your system time to digest.

Incorporate physical activity: Move to sleep better

The benefits of physical activity extend to improving your sleep quality. However, when and how you exercise can impact its effectiveness as a sleep aid.

Timing matters: Schedule for success

Exercising too close to bedtime can energize you, making it difficult to fall asleep. Aim for morning or early afternoon workouts to help your body wind down by bedtime.

  • Morning Routine: Consider incorporating a morning exercise routine to jump-start your day and improve sleep at night.
  • Avoid Late-Night Workouts: If the evening is the only time you have, opt for lighter activities like stretching or yoga.

Type of exercise: Choose wisely

Not all exercise is created equal when it comes to improving sleep. While high-intensity workouts are excellent for your health, lighter exercises like walking can also make a significant difference.

Type of exercise: Choose wisely
  • Cardio vs. Light Exercise: Cardiovascular exercises like running or swimming are beneficial but ensure they're done earlier in the day. A simple 20-minute walk in the evening can also improve sleep quality.
  • Mind-Body Practices: Activities like yoga and tai chi not only provide physical exercise but also include elements of mindfulness that can help prepare your body for sleep.

By employing these strategic changes to your sleep environment, diet, and physical activity levels, you can dramatically improve both the quality and quantity of your sleep

This is not just crucial for your well-being but also enhances your productivity and quality of life, especially when you're working more than 40 hours per week online.

Takeaway

Working online for more than 40 hours a week can create a taxing lifestyle that negatively impacts your sleep. Yet, understanding the significance of sleep for both mental and physical well-being can motivate you to take actionable steps. 

Limiting blue light exposure, maintaining consistent work hours, optimizing your sleep environment, watching your diet, and incorporating physical activity can go a long way in improving both the quality and quantity of your sleep. 

Despite the demands of a busy work schedule, your health and well-being should always be a priority. Implement these strategies to improve your sleep and, consequently, your overall quality of life.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}