As you start to return to your office after a year at home, the possibility exists again for when you might need to crash there for the night or even grab a power nap. High quality sleep goes a long way in helping you to make key decisions and balancing your emotions. A stressed out and reactive boss sets a pretty negative tone for the rest of the employees.
Your sleep doesn’t have to be sub quality just because you are at the office. Will it be optimal? No, but you can still grab some pretty stellar sleep with a little planning and some sleep hacks.
Alright. I am going to go over 7 things you can put into action today that will have you sleeping better at the office, than ever before.
1). It’s gotta be dark in the room. Pitch black. The more light that is in the room and subsequently through your eyelids the harder it will be to fall asleep and when you do finally fall asleep it might not be as restorative as it could be.
A few ways to achieve this. If you have an interior office with no windows you are all set just kill the lights. If you have windows, the quickest and easiest route to take is an eye mask. My go to sleep mask is the one by Manta Sleep. It is comfortable and blocks out 100% of the light because it has separate cups for each eye. Throw this one before getting comfy.
2). Chill out the room. In order to sleep your body needs to be on the cool side. In the office this shouldn’t be too hard as it seems a lot of corporate buildings moonlight as refrigerators. If this isn’t the case, I have a few hacks for cooling yourself.
If you have the space, invest in a small portable room A/C. This way you can set it to the temp you prefer. For sleep I nudge clients to shoot for 65F-68F. This seems to be the optimal temp, but if you are shivering then kick it up a few degrees.
Cheap route? Get a container of ice and a fan and have it blow at you. In a small room this can lower the temp a few degrees.
3). Get comfy – I mean you can sleep in your work clothes, but all that leads to is an uncomfortable sleep and a wrinkly mess in the morning. The more comfortable you are the easier it will be to fall asleep in a “new place”. My favorite piece of sleep equipment is the Dep Slepwear hoodie. The fabric has a cool feel too it when you put it on, and it allows heat to escape while also keeping you dry. I love the added feature of the hood and eye mask to block out noise and light.
4). Cut out the random noises. When you are sleeping somewhere that is not your normal, then your brain is going to be on extra alert for noises to keep you safe. Sorry, it’s just your brain’s way of trying to keep you alive. Weird random noises have a tendency to cross the threshold and wake you up or keep you up by raising your alertness.
Investing in some earplugs can go a long way in remedying this or having a white noise machine in the office.
5). Take some magnesium. Magnesium is nature’s natural calming mineral. If you are on edge from the project you were working on or stressed out with office politics, making up a magnesium drink before trying to catch some shut eye will help to relax your muscles and nerves while also increasing GABA in your brain. GABA is the braking system in your brain to slow it down and not be racing with thoughts.
6). Brain.fm. This is my favorite app of my clients. This app works great for a quick power nap or for falling asleep at night. It plays 2 different frequencies which your brain computes the difference and syncs its frequency to that number. If your mind is racing along with some beta frequencies, this will help ease you into alpha and theta waves to transition into sleep and achieve deeper sleep. They have some white papers on their site showcasing the improvement in sleep.
7). If you are power napping, plan for it. Ideally take your nap when your cortisol dips in the afternoon. This is the time you normally reach for that afternoon pick me up of coffee. Have all the things mentioned above ready to go. Set your alarm for 20 minutes or 90 minutes (hey maybe you are the boss). With a 20 minute recharge you will get a boost to last through the rest of the day. If you wake up between 20-90 minutes then you could have some serious sleep hangover because you woke up during a deeper sleep cycle. At 90 minutes, you should be coming out of a light sleep cycle and not be too groggy.
My name is Jason Piper, founder of Build Better Sleep. I help business professionals to rebuild their sleep to stay at the top of their game.