Few people would disagree that sleep is precious, especially when it’s elusive. Sleep refreshes and recharges, and it helps the body stay healthy. It also enables clear thinking, memory, and concentration.
In 2020, the spread of COVID-19 forced people around the world to stay home and work. Amid all the disruption, one of the often-heard complaints was that people had trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and generally not getting enough sleep altogether. Sunday Citizen compiled facts and statistics on how remote work has affected sleep, especially over the past year, using 2020 data from health news publications, scientific journals, and surveys that looked into the effects of remote work on different aspects of life.
The body’s internal clock controls the cycle of wakefulness and sleep, and that cycle can be affected by light, stress, poor health, and more. Most people need between seven to nine hours of sleep each day. That sleep includes four stages—three stages of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and then rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. The body is most relaxed during the third NREM stage, when the heartbeat, breathing, and brain wave activity slow down. During REM sleep, breathing, the heart rate, and blood pressure increase. Dreaming typically occurs during REM sleep, which also is believed to be the time for memory consolidation, when experiences are converted into memories. The four stages repeat during a night’s sleep, and each typically lasts 90 to 120 minutes.
Continue reading to learn about how the shift to remote work has had an impact on sleep.