Creating the Ideal Home Environment
In what feels like an overnight change, most of us are now doing everything from home – working, maintaining our fitness, and even socialising (via Zoom!). With the closure of gyms and most workplaces, we are now learning to do everything from home, and some are finding this change easier than others. We spoke to A.H. Beard’s sleep expert, Dr Carmel Harrington, to find out more about the different home environments and discover why we should be keeping them separate.
THE WORK ENVIRONMENT
Where our home was previously reserved for chilling out, family time and sleeping, we now have to use the home as our gym and office too. However, it is keeping these spaces as separate as possible that will make your life as comfortable and productive as possible.
“This is because the brain likes habit, routine and discipline”, explains Dr Harrington. “Usually, we leave work at say 5.30pm and head home. Once we’re home, we know that it’s time to switch off and can focus on making dinner and catching up with friends and family. Although we’ve lost the commute, we need to make a clear distinction between work and home. When you’re not at work, don’t hang out in the area you’ve been working in.”
THE SLEEP ENVIRONMENT
“One of the things we always recommend with sleep is keeping the bedroom for sleep and sex and nothing else”, says Dr Harrington. “The bedroom is not your workspace. If you work in your bedroom your brain will associate that space with work, and you may find that sleep issues begin to arise.”
“Use this time of isolation as an opportunity to create the ideal sleep environment. The bedroom is where you go to be restored from the day’s work, so this should be your haven. The key sleep disruptors are noise, light and temperature. Get the new block out curtains you’ve been dreaming of, purchase some ear plugs and ensure your bed linen is comfortable and breathable. If you’re looking to improve your sleep, I’d recommend investing in an A.H. Beard Nox Smart Sleep Light. The Nox Light produces light and sound, mimicking the rising and setting of the sun to help you fall asleep and wake up naturally.”
THE WORKOUT ENVIRONMENT
We need to factor in exercise to our new daily routines, and in happy news, finding the time may be easier for some without time spent commuting to work. Whether you prefer exercise that can be done indoors such as yoga, HIIT or Pilates, or would rather run or walk outside, create a space with your workout gear so your brain knows it’s exercise time, and then pack it away when it’s not. It’s crucial that we continue to move our bodies for at least 30 minutes each day. This will benefit us both mentally and physically, and ensure we get to sleep easier each night.
One of the best things we can do for our productivity and mental health is to create a routine and stick to it. “Wake up and go to sleep at the same time each day. Work out at the same time each day, and start and finish work around the same time every day as well”, recommends Dr Harrington.
Overall, we need to have a home environment that tells our brain, “this is where I work, this is where I sleep and this is where I have fun with my family”.
Once we achieve this we will thrive and be our most productive.