The New Year begins next week and is preceded, as always, by New Year’s Eve. The problem with that particular holiday is that everyone expects you to stay up past midnight. If you’re not the night owl type, that can be difficult. While we can’t in good conscience recommend forcing yourself to stay up later than your body wants, if you insist upon doing it here are some tips:
- Take a nap: This is really the best way to stay up later. Time your nap for early afternoon, perhaps between 1 and 3 p.m., for maximum efficiency. 20 to 40 minute naps are best, because you avoid starting a REM cycle, which could lead to you waking up groggy. If you don’t usually nap, check out our tips to becoming a professional napper.
- Plan your sleep in advance: Try to get plenty of sleep in advance of New Year’s Eve, so you’re not sleep deprived before the big celebration gets started.
- Use caffeine liberally: This is the one and only day when we’d recommend drinking caffeinated products in the late afternoon. In fact, a cup of coffee at dinnertime wouldn’t be a bad idea as well. Try to avoid it within four hours of your anticipated bedtime, however, as it could keep you awake when you’re finally ready to settle down. If you rarely have caffeine, that number could be higher. Learn more about caffeine and your body here.
- Step outside: If you find that your starting to get groggy, step outside for some fresh air. Bonus points are allotted if it’s cold outside that night.
- Don’t watch the clock: If you’re truly not a night owl, the idea of staying up past midnight can be a chore. Try to keep yourself busy, and don’t watch the clock until the final countdown to midnight.