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40% of Americans Say They’re Sleep-Deprived After the Super Bowl

Health + Wellness
A new survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that nearly 40 percent of people are sleep-deprived the Monday after the Super Bowl. Anna Bizon / Getty Images
  • Last year, an estimated 14 million people were planning to take off work the day after the Super Bowl on what's become the most famous sick day of the year: #SuperSickMonday.
  • A new survey finds that 40 percent of people say they're sleep-deprived the day after the Super Bowl.
  • Even just one night of sleep deprivation can take a toll on your physical and mental health.

A new survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) found nearly 40 percent of people are sleep-deprived the Monday after the Super Bowl.


The game itself starts at 6:30 p.m. EST and can go well into the night. Most Super Bowls usually last around 3 hours and 45 minutes, assuming the game doesn't go into overtime and there are no major costume malfunctions during the halftime show.

The whole shebang should wrap up at around 10:15 p.m. EST.

But many people keep the party going long after the winning team takes home the Vince Lombardi Trophy and end up getting a choppy night of sleep.

Last year, an estimated 14 million people were planning to take off work the following day on what's become the most famous sick day of the year: #SuperSickMonday.

In fact, a survey from last year found that 32 percent of workers want the Monday after the Super Bowl to be declared a national holiday.

And a 16-year-old in New York recently started a petition to move the Super Bowl to Saturday since so many people end up staying up late to watch the game.

How much will one night of little sleep hurt you?

Skimping out on sleep never feels good.

Sure, you might feel more grumpy than usual, but sleep deprivation — even just after one night — can take a toll on your physical and mental health.

"Even one night of missed sleep can cause irritability, dark circles, or puffy eyes (since missing a night of sleep can cause fluid to accumulate under your eyes), feeling forgetful the next day, or having slower reaction times, which can lead to making mistakes," said Dr. Lynelle Schneeberg, a sleep psychologist at Yale Medicine and author of "Become Your Child's Sleep Coach."

It can affect your judgment and mood and also up your risk for an accident or injury, according to Harvard Medical School.

This is especially true for those driving while feeling drowsy. The Institute of Medicine estimates that drowsy driving is the cause of 20 percent of all motor vehicle crashes.

In the workplace, a lack of sleep can lead to impaired productivity and focus. You're also more likely to feel stressed out, as fragmented sleep affects the stress hormones that control your ability to function.

Research has also found it can worsen the symptoms of any underlying medical conditions.

But how much you'll feel these effects really comes down to how healthy you've been in the days leading up to the Super Bowl, according to Rebecca Scott, PhD, an assistant professor of neurology and sleep medicine specialist at NYU Langone Health.

"The better rested one is going into the shorter night of sleep, the less they will feel any impact," Scott told Healthline.

Humans are designed to be able to handle a night or two of less sleep without any major consequences, she adds. It's when it builds up that our health really starts to go downhill.

Alcohol and fatty foods can make it worse

The Super Bowl is often synonymous with a night of drinking beer and eating unhealthy, fatty foods — two things that can further impair a good night's sleep.

Alcohol prevents us from getting into a restorative, deep sleep, which is necessary for learning, memory retention, and cognitive functioning.

"Although one might fall asleep more easily after having alcohol, alcohol prolongs the amount of time it takes to fall into a dream, reduces the overall amount of dream sleep across a night, and can result in several brief awakenings as we metabolize the sugar in the alcohol," Scott said.

In addition, it's harder for the stomach to digest fattier foods. "These foods can cause indigestion or stomach upsets, which can worsen sleep, of course," Schneeberg said.

Here’s how to avoid #SuperSickMonday

Unless you've been pulling all-nighters for days in a row, one night of little sleep won't do much damage. Scott says you should take the night and enjoy yourself.

"We often put work and responsibilities first, so give yourself permission to take an evening off without guilt," Scott said.

There are some strategies for reducing your chances of feeling completely miserable the next day.

First, do your best to have healthy sleep habits for the 2 days before and after the Super Bowl. Aim for around 8 hours of sleep, avoid caffeine in the late afternoons, and make sure you're well hydrated.

"One missed night of sleep is not usually a significant problem as long as you get back on track the very next night," Schneeberg said.

If you're already running low on sleep and expect to feel even worse the Monday after the Super Bowl, Scott says to be patient with yourself.

"Know that you might have a harder time focusing or be a bit more irritable than usual, and plan around that to the extent you can," Scott said.

Sleep deprivation symptoms tend to be worse in the afternoon — between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. — so maybe avoid big activities in that window.

As long as the Super Bowl is on a Sunday and the day after isn't a national holiday, the best you can do is take care of yourself in the days leading up to the big game and set an earlier bedtime the night after.

The bottom line

A new survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that nearly 40 percent of people are sleep-deprived the Monday after the Super Bowl.

Even just one night of sleep deprivation can take a toll on your physical and mental health.

But how much you feel those effects really boils down to how healthy you've been in the days before and after the Super Bowl.

Reposted with permission from Healthline. For detailed source information, please view the original article on Healthline.

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