The new influx of people working from home has led to workers finding their sleeping patterns disrupted, data from Hammonds Furniture has revealed.
A survey of 2,000 people who started working from home in the past three weeks has found that 70% of new home workers have found their sleeping patterns disrupted in some way, with one in four claiming that their sleeping pattern has been ‘very disrupted’, with a restless sleep each night, with a restless sleep each night. On average adults sleep 7–9 hours a day.
The research also looks at the breakdown of the different rooms people are working in and if this was also impacting sleep quality.
A fifth (20%) of respondents are lucky enough to have a home office that they can work from each day, but the remainder (80%) are having to make do with other rooms.
Over a fifth of respondents (21%) are working from their main bedroom, which is negatively influencing their sleeping patterns. A massive, 84% of those who’ve been working from their bedroom have found their sleeping pattern is ‘disrupted’ or ‘very disrupted’.
The research even found that almost one in ten (9%) are working from their bathroom – possibly due to two people sharing a studio flat, or Wi-Fi connectivity issues.
Women are working mostly in the living room (24%) with men taking the home office (23%). Over a third (36%) of women have found their sleeping pattern ‘very disrupted’ over the last three weeks, compared to 21% of men. One in ten men (11%) has been sleeping better than usual versus just 4% of women.
The age range seeing the most disrupted sleep is 18–24-year-olds (84%) followed by 25–34- year-olds (76%). This is compared to just 60% of 55015064-year-olds.
In London, 84% of people working from home have found their sleeping pattern disrupted – the highest percentage in the UK. This is followed by 82% of people in Bristol and Glasgow, and 81% of people in Manchester.
Marcus Lobow, who works at Regional Services in Barking, has been working from home for the past two weeks and struggling with this sleep. He said: “I’m currently living in shared accommodation with no shared living space, which means I have to work solely out of my bedroom, and I feel like my sleeping pattern has really been affected.
“I have been waking up several times during the night and struggle to switch off when I would usually sleep. I find myself being sluggish and sleepy much more than I usually would be during work.
“To help combat this, I’ve been exercising more throughout the day and eating more fruits, my next step is to completely cut out coffee from my diet. Luckily for me, work has been great, they have allowed me to be flexible with my work so If I have a bad night’s sleep, I can start work a few hours later.’
45% of Australian adults feel satisfied with their sleep, while 38% are dissatisfied. Another study found sleepless Australians are almost 80% less productive. So why is Australia so sleepless? Could this be down to technology, not having a new memory foam mattress, or having a poor sleeping environment?
Virtual Event Specialist, Ashanti Bentil-Dhue, from London is also working from her bedroom. She said: “I work in my bedroom as I live in a small flat. Because I work and ‘live’ in the same room, there is less structure to my day and less concept of ‘time’, so my sleeping pattern has been severely interrupted.
“I am still figuring out how to adjust, which may take time. I’ve changed the way I work so that I am taking client calls when I am feeling the most energised and not when I feel exhausted.”
Sleep consultant, Lauren Peacock, from Little Sleep Stars, sheds some light on why home workers are struggling at the moment: “Our day-to-day routine plays an important role in helping to anchor and regulate our circadian rhythm – the internal clock which guides us through each 24-hour period, cycling us between periods of wakefulness and sleep. When our circadian rhythm is interfered with, usually, so is our sleep.
“Even if we don’t think of ourselves as especially routine-driven, there are usually consistent elements to our day, occurring in a particular order. Activities such as the daily commute and regular lunchtime, act as predictable cues for our body clock and for many people they are no longer part of our day – there are fewer non-negotiables to keep us on a regular pattern.
“Those unused to working from home may have a less established structure for doing so leading to less consistency for their body-clock to anchor around.”’
Meanwhile, Dennis Relojo-Howell, founder of Psychreg and a psychology YouTuber, offers further tips for those trying to sleep better during lockdown:
“Getting rid of technology from your bedroom (or at least an hour before your bedtime, if you’re working in your bedroom), is one of the best ways to switch off and unwind. Establishing a sleep routine, such as having a shower or bath, reading a book or even listening to a certain calming song will help ease your body into sleep.
“Instead of focusing on the clock, try to focus on what your body is telling you. If you’re not tired and you’re having difficulties falling asleep, then instead of turning around in bed, you can get up and do something that relaxes you. For some people, this might mean watching television or listening to music, while others often enjoy reading a few pages of their favourite book.
“It can also be beneficial to keep a sleep diary; it can reveal habits which impact the quality of your sleep.”
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