When I was young, my mom would never let me eat in bed — she never wanted me to get crumbs in the sheets. If I did, I’d have to change my sheets, a chore I simply hated. These days, many of us have started using our beds for many more things than it was advertised for at the mattress store, especially work. In fact, you might be one of the many (like me!) who’s now relegated to working at home exclusively, thanks to the social distancing requirements. When creating an at-home workspace, it’s important to remember that the purpose of a bed is sleep & intimacy! But these days, with our computers being so portable, they end up in our bed much more than perhaps our date nights do. We need to look at the habits of our culture and ask, is this the healthiest pattern for our health, for our relationships, or our sleep?
Eric and I have this same struggle, even before working from home regularly. We found one serious way to improve our relationship with our bed was to make clear boundaries. An old-school alarm clock means we don’t need to charge our phones right by our heads while we sleep. If you don’t keep your electronic devices at arm’s distance, you won’t be tempted to look at them right before bed or first thing in the morning. That doesn’t mean I stare blankly at the ceiling before I fall asleep, of course! But instead of looking at my phone, I read a book with a gentle reading light. This helps me actually start to feel sleepy, unlike the 24/7 news cycle which just makes me anxious (can anyone relate?!)
Outside my bedroom I have made a clear area at my desk to work. I cleared off all the clutter and distractions, made room for a cup of coffee and my computer, and I even established a clear time to work so that it doesn’t interrupt the clear space I’ve established for sleeping in my bedroom.
If this is you — like it has often become me — let’s take the challenge to leave the work and computer outside of our bedrooms. Let’s reclaim our bed for rest, cuddling, sleep, and intimacy!