15 Bedtime Rituals for Insanely Productive Days - Backed by Science (Part 1)
In our tech-focused and the fast-paced modern world, distractions are plentiful. It seems we are always looking for ways to be more productive and focused. For many, this is more difficult than it sounds. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit earlier in 2020, many businesses and workers have had to adapt to working at home where distractions are plentiful. These distractions often led to unproductive days.
On top of all of this, working from home has severely disrupted the sleep patterns of millions of workers. One study found that out of 2,000 remote workers, 70% had experienced disrupted sleep patterns. If your home is now your office, you probably have firsthand experience with these sleep disruptions. Stress from the uncertainty of the pandemic combined with working remotely and family/personal demands more often than not cause sleep problems that turn into unproductive days.
We all know that poor sleep is bad for our health, relationships, and work. If you want to turn the tide and adjust your nighttime routine to help you stay more productive, here are 15 bedtime rituals for insanely productive days.
- 1. Stop Working At a Set Time
With your bedroom or kitchen suddenly becoming your office, setting boundaries between work and your personal life can be difficult, if not impossible. Having a healthy work-life balance is key to productivity and personal happiness. Stopping work at a certain time each day gives your days a sense of structure and prevents burnout.
- 2. Avoid Technology Before Bed
It can be tempting to scroll through your social media feeds before bed, or refresh your work inbox one last time before calling it a night. Your nighttime scroll and email check can end up costing you valuable sleep time. Studies show those who check social media 30 minutes before bedtime are 1.5 times more likely to have disrupted sleep than those who don’t. For a productive day ahead, ignore your Twitter feed before bed.
- 3. Limit Caffeine
Many of us use caffeine to help us stay productive during the day, but as the day turns to night, our afternoon Starbucks run can leave us up past our bedtime. Consuming caffeine up to 6 hours before bedtime can cause up to an hour or more of lost sleep per night. For a productive day, stick to your morning cup of joe.
- 4. Exercise
Besides eating healthy and getting quality sleep, exercising is the best thing you can do for your health. Exercise promotes restful sleep by helping regulate your sleep/wake cycle, especially if you work out in the morning.
Studies show that working out in the morning or in the afternoon helps regulate your sleep/wake cycle and leads to deeper sleep. Exercise during the daylight hours helps boost melatonin levels and serotonin, leading to improved mood during the day and better sleep at night.
- 5. Use Natural Light
Nothing boosts your mood like a sunny day–good moods usually equal more productive days. While most of us would agree, science does, too. Exposure to natural light during the way boosts mood, provides Vitamin D, which is vital to energy production, and regulates circadian rhythms.
A study conducted by Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois found employees in workplaces imploring natural light reported improved sleep than those who worked in environments with artificial light. The study found that these workers slept 46 minutes longer per night than workers who did not have natural light in their office.
- 6. Keep a Consistent Schedule
Since millions of workers have transitioned to remote offices and sadly too many workers have lost their jobs due to COVID-19, keeping a consistent schedule has gone out the window. Keeping a consistent schedule for both work and sleep resets your internal clock so you will be ready for sleep at the same time every day. A consistent sleep schedule leads to improved sleep, and in turn, improved productivity.