With yesterday's 8:30 p.m. kick-off, you may have sacrificed sleep for Sunday Night Football. But, be sure to recover today, because lack of sleep can have many adverse effects besides that extra money spent at the coffee shop; it can stop you from losing weight, make you more likely to suffer from depression and diabetes, and even take a toll on your sex life.
So here are seven things to do for a better night's sleep, whether after the big game or your ordinary day.
- Keep the bedroom cool.
- Eliminate computer, cell phone and bright light ("blue light") use before bed. This stimulates your pineal gland, the part of your brain that activates your "awake" cycle and makes you think it's time to rise and shine! (Don't worry, you'll still find all the highlights from the big game on Patriots.com in the morning.)
- Darken your room or wear an eye mask.
- Limit caffeine to one cup in the morning.
- Use a comfortable mattress that offers you maximum firmness with a generous cushioned top.
- For a more uninterrupted night's sleep, avoiding drinking water about one hour before you hit the sack.
- Limit your alcohol intake. A few drinks in the evening may help you fall asleep quickly, but it interrupts your sleep cycle, meaning you're likely to wake up after only a few hours.
Have a question for Dr. Debra Foschi, nutritionist for the Patriots Cheerleaders? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.