Howdy y’all! I’m still licking my wounds following the Kansas Jayhawks’ tough loss in basketball yesterday. The only thing that makes me feel better about that is that no college team is infallible right now, including Michigan, who also lost yesterday. The increased parity of teams this year should make for a great NCAA tournament come March. I’ll probably have a sleep-deprived night or two during the Big Dance, and hopefully for good reasons!
Today America turns its attention once more to football and bids farewell to the 2012-2013 NFL season with the Super Bowl game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens. Now personally, me, my teams are, in order, the Seahawks, the Packers, and the Patriots, so with no horses in the race I’m not feeling particularly invested in today’s game (though I am curious to see if Beyoncé actually sings during the halftime show). I’m rooting for the Ravens because I respect Ray Lewis’ longevity (he’s an ancient 37 years of age, and he’s still kickin’ it all the way to the end), I love O.J. Brigance’s heartbreaking but inspiring story (he has Lou Gehrig’s Disease, he’s 43, and he still works, serving as the Ravens’ director of player development), and I’m not a big fan of that Kaepernick arm-kissing thing. I know a lot of people who are very emotionally invested, however, and particularly for them, as well as millions of other football fans ’round the country, there will be a high potential for subsequent problems sleeping, win or lose. So here are a few quick tips to prevent a sleepless night tonight.
1. Mind your timing. The game starts at 6:30 p.m. east, 3:30 p.m. west. Keep this in mind as you plan your bedtime routine tonight, because for most people life and work will go on tomorrow, Monday morning, as per usual.
2. “Come down” after the game. Whether your team wins or loses, the Super Bowl is exciting, and all of that adrenalin and dopamine has a stimulatory effect. I would suggest not jumping into bed right after the game, particularly after a night of partying and cheering on your team. Give yourself an hour or two to decompress from the game. Relax, read a bit, take a hot bath or shower. Shoving yourself into bed all hyped up will make it difficult to fall asleep quickly.
3. Time your caffeine use. Many people don’t realize that caffeine can last in your system for up to 8-12 hours after you drink it. Drinking that Red Bull may enhance the excitement at your Superbowl party, but I would suggest drinking it early on, particularly if you live on the east coast.
4. Time your alcohol use, and drink responsibly. Alcohol can have both excitatory (owing to emotional disinhibition) and sedative effects for the first 2-4 hours after it’s consumed, but after that it tends to be a sleep disruptor. I suggest taking it easy on the booze, man, it’s Sunday night. I’m not in my twenties anymore, however, so understand where my words are coming from, a place of age and hard-earned wisdom.
5. Eat early if you can. All those buffalo wings, all that pizza . . . you’re not gonna enjoy that bubbling up your esophagus tonight. Indigestion, heartburn, and reflux tend to happen more if you go to bed shortly after a big old spicy meal. Give all that pub grub some time to travel from your stomach and into your intestines. If you have to eat late, you may want to prop yourself up with a couple pillows before you go to sleep.
6. Try to awaken at the time you usually do on Monday morning. It may be a late night for you tonight, particularly if you live in Maryland and the Ravens win. However, if you sleep in Monday morning, it might be difficult to fall asleep at your desired time Monday night. We’re generally built to tolerate a night of sleep deprivation if necessary. That’s usually preferable to a protracted bout of insomnia.
Enjoy the game, all! Hoping for great things for the Seahawks in the 2013-2014 season. 12th Man!