Doing work in one’s bedroom often sounds like an appealing idea. After all, most of us would prefer to stay in our PJs rather than getting dressed for the office. So many people are tempted by the idea of reviewing files from their cozy bed or taking that early-morning conference call in their bedroom that one market research company found 80 percent of young people in New York City admitted to working from their bed on a consistent basis.
There’s just one problem with bringing work into bed: Sleep experts say that working in one’s bedroom can mess with one’s sleep and hurt productivity. Here’s a brief look at why it might be a good idea to banish work from the bedroom.
Why It’s Not A Good Idea To Bring Work Into The Bedroom
Research suggests that reserving the bedroom for nothing but sleep and sex can improve the chances of enjoying a sound night’s rest.
Here’s why: Maintaining a separate, dedicated sleep space makes it easier for people to fall asleep when it’s time for bed. That’s because one’s brain will learn to associate their bed with sleep, so that the simple act of getting in bed helps cue the body that it’s time to wind down.
This mental link can also hamper productivity if people do try to bring work into the bedroom. If people are usually in “relax mode” when they get into bed, trying to do work there might be more difficult than usual, because their brain will think it’s time to sleep (not time to work).
“It may help to limit one’s bedroom activities to sleep and sex only,” Harvard’s Healthy Sleep website advises. “Keeping computers, TVs, and work materials out of the room will strengthen the mental association between the bedroom and sleep.”
The Harvard website also suggests avoiding “stressful, stimulating activities” in the bedroom — and that includes working. “Physically and psychologically stressful activities can cause the body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which is associated with increasing alertness,” the site explains.
Something else to bear in mind: If people regularly work in their bed, they may end up looking at their computer screen or phone right before they go to sleep at night. This exposes people to the blue light emitted by electronics, which can inhibit the production of melatonin — an important sleep hormone that helps tell their body it’s time to rest. Experts recommend avoiding screens before bedtime for this exact reason.
Ultimately, you want your bedroom to be a relaxing space that promotes good sleep. This means it’s a good idea to keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet — and not to make your bedroom a second workspace, tempting as that may be.
[Editor’s Note: The information provided should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a sleep doctor or other medical expert if you have questions related to your own health.]
Featured image: Kalamurzing/Shutterstock
Joe Auer is the editor of Mattress Clarity. He mainly focuses on mattress reviews and oversees the content across the site.
He likes things simple and take a straightforward, objective approach to his reviews. Joe has personally tested nearly 250 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. He has been testing mattresses for over 5 years now, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to mattress selection. He has been cited as an authority in the industry by a number of large publications.
Joe has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Columbia University.