Half the face-to-face work, half the home office make sleep worse due to loss of routine

The added challenge is the change of time between days of face-to-face activities with the home office. Photo: Bigstock

The trend towards definitive adoption of the hybrid work model, one that alternates face-to-face activities with the home office, can create difficulties for people to sleep regularly and even increase or cause insomnia.

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The additional challenge brought by this model, according to researchers at the Instituto do Sono, is the change in time between days of in-person activities with a home office.

While on face-to-face working days the person needs more time between waking up and arriving at the workstation, by staying at home it is possible to lengthen the hours of sleep. The information comes from Agência Brasil.

All at once

In addition to breaking the routine of bedtime and waking up, hybrid work can mess up the quality of sleep because by working on a remote system, people divide their time at home between work, children’s studies, and sleep. household routine, thus dividing the day. hours per day to be able to perform all tasks, a habit already observed during the pandemic period, when work was only done remotely.

“And companies made their work more flexible and they were no longer afraid to send an email at midnight, waiting for a response,” said Gabriel Natan Pires, biomedical doctor and researcher at Instituto do Sono.

Better sleep

To maintain a good quality of sleep, he said, the individual must follow a routine with certain time for leisure, work, food and rest. Failure to follow these habits can even lead to negative reflexes for the immune system. “It’s like our brains need clues to figure out when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake up,” he says.

According to Pires, on work-from-home days, workers may even sleep a little longer as they won’t have to deal with traffic to get to work, but it’s important that they start and end work in. same time. “This plan will work if the company takes care of the employee’s mental health and the professional does not give up sleep to increase productivity. Even because it’s a utopia to work until 11 pm and think that at 11:05 pm you are going to sleep ”.

home challenge

He points out that another challenge for hybrid work is to have a suitable working environment at home so as not to harm health and maintain the routine. Those who are already prone to insomnia should maintain regular work and healthy habits, as any slight alteration can make the condition worse.

“You have to have a rule to see if this person who is ready to hybrid work can really adapt to that. The idea is that people who cannot, prefer office work because if the uncertain routine affects the sleep, being in the office can be less harmful “.

Pires points out that it is necessary for the worker and the company to negotiate the most comfortable way to maintain productivity, but the availability for this varies depending on management ideology. “There are companies that have a more traditional view and do not allow employees to choose their working hours. Flexibility is important because there are people who have a physiological tendency to wake up and sleep later, just like there are those who wake up and go to bed earlier. morning and evening people. It is a normal variation. “

Remote work and insomnia

According to Pires, the Covid-19 pandemic has generated another pandemic, that of insomnia, with at least 60% of people having trouble sleeping, either because of anxiety due to the health crisis or because of routine changes.

In the beginning, the perception was that working from home could help people sleep better, because theoretically they could choose their working hours and would not spend time traveling, which did not happen.

“It’s one thing to work at home because you have chosen it, another is to want to work because it was imposed, knowing that there is no suitable environment and that I have to stay locked up, like my kids, who can’t go to school. It wasn’t remote work. It changed the routine and sleep lost space because working at home without rules tore it up and extended the working day, which ran out of time to finish.

no work in the room

One of the main problems with sleep is taking work to the bedroom, especially for people with insomnia, because for natural, quality sleep to occur, the brain needs to slow down little by little. . Working even before bed brings all of that to bed, and just when the brain is supposed to slow down, the person experiences stress that re-accelerates it, generating a reaction similar to post-traumatic stress, he said.

“If I started to pick up my cell phone in bed and started to stress, over time my brain would associate my bed with a stressful environment. In the past, I used to lie down in bed and sleep was coming because it was an environment of relaxation, not now, ”he explained.

Pires said that no type of induced sleep is recommended and that while sleep is a complex brain process, it must occur naturally. It must therefore be understood that sleep must be a priority on the agenda and that the person is not sleep deprived. “If I understand that I want to sleep around 10 p.m., I must understand that from 8 p.m. I have to start slowing down. Sleep should be allowed and natural.”

Worsening of sleep

A survey by the Instituto do Sono found that 55.1% had poorer sleep patterns during the Covid-19 pandemic, a period in which remote working predominated. In addition to increasing concerns, the change in routine was one of the reasons cited by more than 1,600 survey participants, who also spoke of fear of getting sick, financial insecurity and estrangement from family. and friends.

According to data from the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA), in the most acute phase of the pandemic, 11% of Brazilians joined remote work, totaling 8.4 million people in 2020. Of this percentage, 63.9% came from the initiative of which 51% were related to education, 38.8% to the financial sector and 34.7% to communication activities.

Tips for a good night’s sleep

Maintain a Routine: Establish schedules for sleep, meals, exercise, leisure, work and family activities Find a specific place to work: Find a place in the house to accomplish your work tasks. If possible, avoid choosing the room. It is important that the brain associates the bedroom as an environment of rest and tranquility, and not as a stressful activity. Do not take your laptop or cell phone to bed: excessive interactivity and the light from the screens of these devices disrupt sleep. : at least an hour before bedtime do a relaxing activity: take a shower, read, listen to music, do meditation or any other activity that helps you slow down. Avoid heavy foods and caffeinated drinks: Eat light meals up to two hours before bedtime. Do not drink coffee, energy drinks, and black tea and other infusions that contain caffeine in the evening. Expose your body to light in the morning: open the windows, take a walk in the garden or in the yard. This way you show your brain that it is daylight and therefore time to work Know your chronotype: The circadian cycle, which includes wakefulness and sleep, lasts about 24 hours. Each person has their own preferred times to sleep and wake up. The chronotype is our circadian preference profile.

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