How to Survive New Year’s Sleep Deprivation

Some people refer to New Year’s as a “one minute holiday” because the entire celebration is focused on that countdown to midnight.  That may be true in many ways, but to get to that countdown requires staying up later than usual for many people.  That can make January 1 a very tiring day.  While the best practice for your sleep schedule is to simply not stay up late on New Year’s Eve, that just isn’t much fun … is it?  Here are some tips to help you work your way through the lack of sleep and sleep schedule confusion that New Year’s tends to cause:

  • Nap on New Year’s Eve: If you’re definitely staying up until midnight or beyond, take a nap in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve.  Normally a nap after 2 or 3:00 p.m. isn’t a great idea, but in this case it might be okay.
  • Don’t feel the need to stay up until 3 a.m.: Enjoying the holiday pretty much only requires staying up until 12:01 a.m. on January 1.  While that may cut the party short, if you want to be awake the next day you should avoid staying up all night. Minimizing the impact of New Year’s Eve on your sleep schedule may mean missing a little bit of the party.
  • Don’t sleep in until noon on January 1: No matter when you go to bed, try to get up within an hour or so of your normal wake-up time.  Don’t worry if you’re tired, because we’re also recommending that you…
  • Nap on New Year’s Day: You’re certainly going to be tired, so a midday nap of 20-30 minutes is a good idea.  Don’t sleep much more than that, however, because it may keep you from sleeping at night.
  • Enjoy your coffee: If you’re tired on New Year’s Day, caffeine can help you get through the day.  It’s best to avoid it after 2 or 3:00 p.m., though, as it may interfere with going to sleep at night.
  • Go to bed early on New Year’s Day: If you’re tired enough to sleep, go to bed an hour early.  This is a particularly good idea if you have to get up for work on January 2.  This, combined with the nap earlier in the day, will help you eliminate the sleep debt you acquired by staying up late.

In the end, you’re going to be tired, just like when the time changes in the spring and fall, and it’s just something you’re going to have to work through if you want to stay up for that “one minute holiday”.  

Happy New Year!