Never lose sleep over work again

It's a common problem: you're lying in bed and instead of enjoying a good night's sleep, you're worrying about work-related matters. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent work from disturbing your sleep. In this article, we discuss the causes and share valuable tips.

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Never lose sleep over work again

It’s a common problem: you’re lying in bed and instead of enjoying a good night’s sleep, you’re worrying about work-related matters. This can have serious consequences for your overall health and well-being. In the best case, it results in fatigue, but it can also lead to chronic stress or even burnout.

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent work from disturbing your sleep. In this article, we discuss the causes of work-related insomnia and share valuable tips to prevent it.

Causes of work-related insomnia

Er zijn verschillende oorzaken die kunnen bijdragen aan het niet kunnen loslaten van je werk, overmatig piekeren en de daaruit voortvloeiende slapeloosheid. Veelvoorkomende factoren zijn:

#1. Excessive stress and worries

It’s normal to have stressful days at work occasionally, but if the stress is constant, it can lead to sleepless nights. Deadlines, performance pressure, and conflicts can keep you mentally occupied, causing you to worry and preventing you from relaxing.

#2. Digital overload

The feeling of always having to be reachable. Emails, messages, and notifications keep coming in, even outside office hours, making it difficult for you to mentally relax.

#3. Unrealistic expectations

Sometimes, you impose unrealistic expectations on yourself about what you want to achieve at work. The need for everything to be perfect can cause a lot of anxiety and even lead to fear. Does this sound familiar? Also, read our 7 tips for Perfectionists.

#4. Poor work-life balance

When work takes up a disproportionate part of our lives, it can lead to tension in your personal relationships and neglecting things outside work that are important to you, such as hobbies or sports.

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Practical tips to let go of work stress before bed

It’s important to prevent sleeplessness caused by work-related stress. A clear separation between your work and personal life is the first step. Creating a relaxing atmosphere before going to bed and effective planning are the initial steps to wake up feeling better and start your workday with a positive mindset.

Tip 1: Set boundaries between work and personal life

One of the most important steps to prevent lying awake from work is to create a clear separation between work and personal life. This can be especially challenging if you work from home.

Therefore, try to have a physical separation between your workspace and your relaxation space. If you can create a separate workspace, that is ideal. If you don’t have the space for this, sit at the dining table and not in the bedroom or on the couch, which are places for relaxation. The latter is also not good for your posture.

Additionally, turn off your work phone after office hours and avoid answering work-related emails or messages. By setting fixed work hours, you prevent yourself from making that one last call or answering an email.

If you’re struggling with work-related stress, talk about it with your supervisor, colleagues, or friends. Sometimes sharing your concerns can be a great relief.

If you are struggling with work-related stress, talk about it with your supervisor, colleagues or friends. Sometimes just sharing your concerns can be a great relief.

Tip 2: Create a relaxation routine before bed

Make sure you have a ritual to end your workday, such as turning off your computer, tidying up your workspace (if you work from home), and taking a short walk. This helps you mentally switch from work mode to relaxation mode. By respecting these boundaries, you train your brain to let go of work matters once your workday is over.

Additionally, create an evening routine that is relaxing and prepares your mind for sleep. Avoid using electronic devices. The blue light from screens can disturb your sleep by interfering with the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for your sleep-wake cycle.

Start at least an hour before bed with activities that help you relax. This can range from reading a book, taking a warm bath, to listening to calm music.

By following a fixed relaxation routine, you signal to your body and mind that it’s time to rest.

By following a fixed relaxation routine, you signal to your body and mind that it's time to rest.

Tip 3: Organize your time

Another important tip to prevent lying awake from work is to improve your time management and planning. Start your workday by making a to-do list and setting priorities. Focus on the most important tasks and break down large projects into smaller steps.

Set realistic goals for yourself and avoid overloading your schedule. It’s better to plan fewer tasks and complete them successfully than to plan too many tasks and get frustrated when you can’t finish them all. Be realistic about what you can achieve in a day and don’t be afraid to say no if you already have a full schedule.

Regularly evaluate your workday and planning. See what went well and what can be improved. Adjust your planning as needed. By regularly evaluating your workday, you can recognize stress patterns and proactively find solutions.

Additionally, don’t forget to take regular breaks throughout the day to recharge mentally and physically. Short breaks can help you concentrate better and be more productive. Try to take a short break of 5-10 minutes every 60-90 minutes. Stand up, stretch, walk around, or do something else to mentally distract yourself from work.

Tip 4: The power of writing it down

If you find yourself lying awake at night because your mind is full of work-related worries, it can help to write these worries down. Keep a notebook by your bed and write down everything that’s bothering you. This can range from tasks you still need to complete to worries about deadlines or problems at work.

By writing down your worries, you give your brain the chance to let them go. Writing down your thoughts can provide a sense of relief and prevent you from dwelling on them. The next morning, you can review the notes and create an action plan to address these concerns. This helps you sleep better and look at your work with a fresher perspective.

The importance of a good work-life balance

A good work-life balance is not only crucial for your physical and mental health, but it also affects your performance at work. Work-related insomnia can lead to reduced concentration, fatigue, and decreased productivity, which can ultimately result in a downward spiral of more stress and less effectiveness. It is vital that we actively work towards maintaining a balance between work and personal life so that we no longer have to lose sleep over our work.

By following the above tips, you prioritize your own health and well-being. You will notice that you lead a calmer and healthier life, both at work and outside of it. For now: sleep well!

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