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Forget About Work Insomnia

Those who have demanding jobs often struggle to reduce stress, disconnect and have a good night’s sleep.

The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía Pizano

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Our bodies are designed to experience stress as a mental reaction to challenges and difficult situations. Those who have demanding jobs often struggle to reduce stress, disconnect and have a good night’s sleep. The Woman Post brings you a list of ways to help you sleep better while controlling work anxiety.

The trouble with work insomnia is that it is not limited to often feeling overtired. Sleep deprivation has been proved to increase work stress by causing adverse effects on cognitive functions such as critical thinking, problem-solving, judgment, organization, and planning. Insomnia can be acute when it lasts for only a few weeks or chronic when it stays three months or longer. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, insomnia negatively affects work performance, impairs decision-making, and damages relationships.

To avoid work thoughts at night, read and practice the following advice:

1. Get active: Research has proven that a single instance of physical activity can help reduce the stress and anxiety that keeps us awake. Only 30 minutes of aerobic exercise can help us fall asleep faster while improving sleep quality.

2. Start meditating: Mindfulness brings you rest since it leads you towards silencing the noise in your head and focusing on the now. By being fully present, you feel far from the past and the future. Recent research in the Netherlands revealed that even short periods of mindful meditation helped calm racing minds and improved the duration and quality of sleep.

3. Stay away from bedwork: No matter how overwhelmed you may feel with the amount of work, forget about bringing any work to bed. Also, avoid watching TV in bed or talking on your phone while working.

4. Express yourself: Writing your thoughts over and worries over the day will help you keep them away at night. Expressing yourself to offload your problems will help you process emotions and reduce anxiety.

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5. Make a to-do list: Sometimes, we may feel worried by thinking of the multiple tasks that we still have to accomplish soon. An excellent way to control and reduce these thoughts is to write a to-do list for the following day before going to sleep. Research by Emory University and Baylor University revealed that elaborating a to-do list for the next day helps you improve the duration and quality of sleep.

6. Stand up if you can’t sleep: If falling asleep has become difficult, it is vital not to increase the frustration by tossing and turning repeatedly. Next time, get out of bed and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy.

Even though we all agree that we should be able to leave all behind when we get home, it is more complicated than it seems. As mentioned by a Korn Ferry Study, stress caused sleep deprivation for 66% of American workers in 2018. Luckily putting these tips into practice will gradually help you prevent work stress from disturbing your sleep.