Did you know having one hour less of sleep takes around four days to catch up? This year’s UFC final is being aired at 3am on Sunday 10th December 10, meaning thousands of eager sports fans’ sleep schedules are being negatively impacted.
With this in mind, Martin Seeley, CEO and sleep expert at MattressNextDay has pulled together six tips on how to get your sleep schedule back on track after staying up late.
This is how to sleep the day after:
1. Don’t do an all-nighter
The UFC fight decisions are made right by 5am so if you’ve stayed up to see the results, you might be tempted to stay up all night to trick your body into sleeping more the next day. That doesn’t work.
Research has shown that this doesn’t have the same effect as you’d hoped and that when you fall asleep the next day, you’ll likely have a harder time waking up. Refusing to sleep for a whole night could affect the rest of your week. So don’t try to stay awake.
2. Try to get some sleep and focus on napping the next day
A nap of 20 minutes will give you a burst to get through the rest of the day and stop you from falling asleep on your couch at 5pm, affecting your ability to sleep later in the night.
But don’t change your sleeping pattern too much. If you can, get up at your normal time – even if you have stayed up late – so your body is still recognising its sleep schedule. We already know that sleeping late to recover doesn’t actually help at all.
3. Avoid caffeine six hours before bed the next day
If you’ve stayed up late watching the UFC, you might be inclined to rely more on caffeine the next day. But you need to think strategically about your caffeine – what we mean by that is to use it wisely and at the correct time.
You should stop drinking your caffeine six hours before bed, so the caffeine is out of your system before you go to bed the next night.
4. Try not to multitask the following day
Staying up late to watch the UFC means your ability to function is impaired. Your working memory is affected significantly, so you need to know what you can and can’t do. And that means avoiding multiple tasks at once.
Instead, stick to one task at a time and understand your limitations for the day. Doing too much will only lead to racing thoughts at night and worries about the next day, which will, inevitably, keep you up and lead to a cycle of poor sleep.
5. Watch a nature documentary an hour before bed the next day
Have you ever watched Planet Earth and drifted off to the sound of David Attenborough? Well, there might be a reason. Nature documentaries can reduce any negative emotions and boost your mood, which can lead to better sleep.
Negative thoughts and stress can play a huge role in affecting sleep and can be one of the main reasons why people don’t sleep. So, if you can boost your mood before getting to bed, you could be in for a better night’s sleep.
However, we do recommend doing this at least an hour before bedtime so you aren’t going straight to sleep after watching the TV, as electronic devices can hinder sleep.
6. When you get in bed, rub your belly
When you get in bed to go to sleep, start massaging your belly. Studies have shown that doing so can help people with insomnia and increase time spent asleep. Plus, it provides comfort for you when you are in bed.
You can start by massaging circles on your abdomen and doing different strokes. Or if you sleep with your partner, ask them to massage your stomach for five minutes to help relax you before going to bed.
Doing this should help encourage you to sleep and get your body back into that consistent sleep pattern after your previous night of disrupted sleep.