- 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.
How much will one night of little sleep hurt you?<p>Skimping out on sleep never feels good.</p><p>Sure, you might feel more grumpy than usual, but sleep deprivation — even just after one night — can take a toll on your <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5449130/" target="_blank">physical and mental health</a>.</p><p>"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 <a href="https://www.yalemedicine.org/doctors/lynelle_schneeberg/" target="_blank">Dr. Lynelle Schneeberg</a>, a sleep psychologist at Yale Medicine and author of "Become Your Child's Sleep Coach."</p><p>It can affect your judgment and mood and also up your risk for an accident or injury, according to <a href="http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/consequences" target="_blank">Harvard Medical School</a>.</p><p>This is especially true for those driving while feeling drowsy. The Institute of Medicine estimates that drowsy driving is the cause of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20669438" target="_blank">20 percent</a> of all motor vehicle crashes.</p><p>In the workplace, a lack of sleep can lead to <a href="http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/consequences/sleep-performance-and-public-safety" target="_blank">impaired productivity and focus</a>. You're also more likely to feel stressed out, as fragmented sleep affects the stress hormones that control your ability to function.</p><p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5449130/" target="_blank">Research</a> has also found it can worsen the symptoms of any underlying medical conditions.</p><p>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 <a href="https://med.nyu.edu/faculty/rebecca-j-scott" target="_blank">Rebecca Scott</a>, PhD, an assistant professor of neurology and sleep medicine specialist at NYU Langone Health.</p><p>"The better rested one is going into the shorter night of sleep, the less they will feel any impact," Scott told Healthline.</p><p>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.</p>
Alcohol and fatty foods can make it worse<p>The Super Bowl is often synonymous with a night of <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/drinking">drinking</a> <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/beer" rel="noopener noreferrer">beer</a> and eating unhealthy, fatty foods — two things that can further impair a good night's sleep.</p><p>Alcohol prevents us from getting into a restorative, deep sleep, which is necessary for learning, memory retention, and cognitive functioning.</p><p>"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.</p><p>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.</p>
Here’s how to avoid #SuperSickMonday<p>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.</p><p>"We often put work and responsibilities first, so give yourself permission to take an evening off without guilt," Scott said.</p><p>There are some strategies for reducing your chances of feeling completely miserable the next day.</p><p>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.</p><p>"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.</p><p>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.</p><p>"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.</p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p>
The bottom line<p>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.</p><p>Even just one night of sleep deprivation can take a toll on your physical and <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/mental-health">mental health</a>.</p><p>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.</p>
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