Every four years the Summer Olympic Games come along, and ruin any chance you had of getting a good night’s sleep. Sure, you can watch competitive swimming during non-Olympic years, but it’s not the same. The problem is that the competition and the great back stories of all of the athletes keeps you up way, way past your bedtime, and you still have to be up for work or family obligations the next day.
Even with the games taking place in an east coast time zone this year, the TV networks are doing their best to keep you glued to your set until late at night. For example, despite the women’s gymnastics team competition taking place during the day, the recap of the United States winning gold didn’t end until after midnight in the eastern U.S.
So … what do you do? Here are some SleepBetter tips:
• Make use of technology: DVRs, or digital video recorders, were created for a reason. They allow you to easily record events that happen when you have something else (like sleep) that you need to do. In fact, if you’ve recorded an event you can fast forward through slower parts and commercials if you desire, and see the end more quickly.
• Adjust your schedule if necessary: It’s not the best solution, but if you must watch an event that starts when your schedule says you should be sleeping, try to find a way to stay in bed later or take naps during the day. You won’t be at your best by using this method, but sleep at unusual times is better than no sleep at all.
• Resist the urge to pound coffee or energy drinks: Mass amounts of caffeine can only temporarily make up for a lack of shut-eye. It can also keep you from sleeping when you aren’t watching the Summer Games.
• Take a few days off … from work: This is only for the most severe cases of Olympics Fever, but if you must watch event after event, it will be impossible to accomplish while still working a full day. Something will have to give, and it shouldn’t be sleep. Consider taking a few days off from work if you must, so you can nap in between games.
• Get caught up afterward: If you must, you can walk around like a zombie for a couple of weeks and then get caught up on your sleep debt afterward. After the games are over, try to go to bed earlier than usual for a couple of weeks until you’re back to normal.
We realize the Summer Games don’t come around every year, but try to get some sleep!