A recent study, reported on in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, points out the impact windows and daylight exposure has on not only the health, but also the sleep quality of office workers.
According to the study, not getting enough daylight exposure not only impacts physical health and vitality, but also causes poor sleep quality. With so many businesses making the move to open concept cubicles with limited sunlight exposure, what are moves you can make to get a better night’s sleep?
Problems with Sleep Deprivation
The problems associated with sleep deprivation during the workweek move far beyond general health problems (which are bad enough in their own right), leading to problems in other vital areas, according to Business Week, such as:
- Slower Reflexes
- Diminished Attention Spans
- Loss of Productivity
- Memory Loss
- Cognitive Performance
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Accidents in the Workplace
- Errors on the Job
In other words, failing to get an adequate amount of sleep impacts your career in a wholly negative way.
Correcting Sleep Problems
There are several choices you can make in order to accommodate your sleep needs better. These are just a few suggestions to help you get better sunlight exposure during the day so you can enjoy the additional sleep, 46 minutes’ worth on average, at night.
- Consider bright light therapy. Some workplaces allow workers to bring sunlamps into their cubicles, while others do not. Natural sunlight may be the best, but using light therapy can be instrumental to resetting your body’s natural circadian rhythm.
- Find new ways to get sunlight exposure during the day. Consider eating lunch outside or spending your lunch break taking a walk outside. You get the double benefit of sun exposure and exercise that way.
- Consider a new mattress. Sometimes, this simple move is all it takes. If you purchase the right kind of mattress, one that provides the “just right” combination of comfort and support, such as a natural latex mattress, you may just find that sunlight exposure matters even less.
- Adopt a new bedtime ritual that prepares your mind and body for a good night’s rest. The beauty of a routine is that it signals the brain that it’s time to shut down while preparing the body to do the same. Consider things like meditation, yoga, an evening soak in the tub, or reading a book for 30 minutes each night as part of your daily ritual.
Simple changes in your daily routine can significantly impact the quality and quantity of sleep you get at night. These changes should net big improvements.
You spend a great deal of time in the office every day, don’t let that time rob you of precious, and equally important, sleep at night. Look to alternatives such as those mentioned above if your office space lacks windows so you can get the sleep your body so desperately needs.
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