7 Hacks to Get Better Sleep after Working Long Hours

Working overtime often makes you tired and irritable. On average, an adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleepy daily. And many of us find it hard to even get 6 hours of sleep at night! Some are distracted by their mobile phones and social media news feed, whereas some are struggling to fall asleep despite going to bed early.

We all know that having enough sleep is crucial for our health and all the serious consequences of not doing so. For example, feeling sluggish during the day, easily stressed out, migraine, high blood pressure and the list goes on. Yet, most of us still don’t put in much effort in getting good quality rest.

Being sleep-deprived is no joke. After spending a considerable amount of hours at work, including the time taken to commute, a good night’s rest is the best way to recharge yourself. Here are some simple hacks to get better sleep after putting in all the extra hours at work:

1. Have a consistent bedtime routine

Once you’ve established a routine, your body will follow and slowly adapt to it. Bedtime routines are just like having a fixed sleeping time and wake up time. During weekdays, try to plan your daily schedule and make adjustments. Routines may include brushing your teeth, skin care, etc., before you sleep. This is a way of conditioning your mind and your body that you are ready to sleep.

2. Reduce activities at night

It’s a good idea to limit the amount of electronic devices in you room. Put your phone to silent (apart from morning alarms) and place out of arm’s reach to ensure you are not distracted in the hour before you get to sleep. Of course, turn off the TV and laptops/tablets. It’s also best to avoid going to the gym or doing heavy exercise at night, however a light stroll may help to ease any stress.

The most relaxing activities you can do to get a better sleep are to read a light book, take a bubble bath or mediate. These therapeutic activities can help you reduce stress and unwind after working overtime. Relaxing can put your mind at ease and allow your body to recharge after a long day.

3. Improve your sleep environment

Do you wake up feeling even more tired or with a sore body?

It’s most probably due to the poor sleeping environment. Perhaps you are not using the right mattress or pillow. Understand your sleeping position to find out the type of pillows that suitable for you. Many of us don’t think twice before getting a pillow but it could has tremendous effect on our sleep.

According to Lifehack, a buckwheat pillow is suitable for back or side sleeper. A buckwheat pillow will changes its shape according to the position of your neck, providing you substantial neck and back support.

While having a set night routine is helpful, every individual has his or his own preferences. Explore different ways and see which makes you sleep better.

4. Avoid heavy dinner or supper

Eating a heavy dinner or over-snacking at night will make your body work harder to digest the food. Eating a lighter and, of course, healthier meal after a long day at work will help to get ready your body and mind for a better night’s sleep.

5. Get power naps

A short 10 to 20 minute power nap does wonders in boosting your energy level. Sometimes it might even make you feel like you had gotten a full night’s sleep. If you manage to get some time off at work or on the commute, don’t spend it scrolling your smartphone -treat yourself to a power nap instead! You can nap while on the train or during your lunch break, or during one of the breaks within your overtime period.

6. Avoid overthinking

Overthinking isn’t only exhausting, more importantly, it usually leads us nowhere. Do not create problems that are not there in the first place and remember that what is done is done. There is no point going over and over the same thing in your head.

Overthinking increases your stress levels unnecessarily and consumes your time. Try to think of happy thoughts and memories instead: start with: “When was the last time you laughed so hard?”, “What was the reason and who were you with?” Think more happy thoughts and have less worries before you sleep. 

If you struggle to fall asleep and feeling anxious about something, write it down and tell yourself to worry about it tomorrow. Anything that’s bothering you might be easier to be resolved when you feel more energized.

7. Understand that sleep is a necessity

Please do not forget that when you don’t have enough sleep, you can’t function well at work. Sleep is vital for our mind and body. It affects your thinking, cognitive abilities and decision making skills. These all are the key things which will affect your work performance.

Every so often, working overtime is unavoidable but you should try to get at least eight hours of sleep per day. Give your mind and your body the best chance to recover by following these 7 things hacks. You can truly feel the difference in your energy level and that allow to you to focus better at work.


Find these tips useful? We have more career advice, workplace tips, and job search tips on our blog. Don’t forget to check them out!

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