How To Stay Up Late... Tips & Tricks
How To Stay Up Late
Do you need help staying up late? Me too! I am a morning person by nature, and in my 40’s, so when I have an event that I need to stay up late for, I need to take careful and proactive measures! Whether it’s a rock concert, play or party, I need to think through how I will stay alert and stay awake. Over the years, I have found a number of techniques that anyone can use to do this. Read on…
Get Enough Sleep The Night Before
I’ll start with the obvious, what Mom would tell us, which is to get a good night’s sleep, the night before the big event. Interestingly, there is no magic number, for the amount of sleep each person needs. Sleep experts at The National Sleep Foundation state that needs vary by age, gender, population and your unique characteristics. While you may need seven hours per night, someone else your same age and gender may need only four.
Bottom line.. You know your body. Plan ahead so the night before a late event, you get a good night’s sleep as defined by you.
Let's Get It Started!!!
Take Care of Your Eyes
If you are trying to enjoy your late night event and your eyes are dry and irritated and you start squinting, your facial muscles will become tired and you will become tired.
If you are a contact lens wearer, you know there is nothing more irritating or tiring than when your contact lenses dry out, especially if you are out on the town. Knowing this, wear your glasses during the day of the late event. When it’s time to put in contacts, if possible, put in a brand new pair of disposables. And, bring lens wetting drops with you.
This advice also holds true for those without contacts who tend to have dry eyes. It’s estimated that over ten million people suffer from “dry eye syndrome” which is usually caused by a problem with the quality of the tear film that lubricates the eyes or may be induced by allergies, smoke or other irritators in the air.
I am not a doctor, but it’s well known that for short term treatment of dry eyes, over the counter eye drops are readily available at most drug stores. Brands include Visine, Bausch and Lomb, and Theratears. (If you have ongoing problems, please consult your doctor.)
How often have you planned to go out, but ended up in what I call “couch TV land” instead. It starts innocently.. You have an hour to kill, you have your favorite show TIVO’d, you grab a glass of wine and walllah.. You never leave the house and actually fall asleep on your couch. When we stand still, our energy level drops.
Instead, as the day progresses and you get closer to the “going out time, exercise and stay physically active. Head to the gym a few hours before. An hour before, put on some fun going out music. For me, this is Disco and 80’s dance hits. For you, it may be loud Classical. Or.. perhaps it's time to play your Wi Rockstar or Guitar Hero Game. Think energy and movement. Avoid your couch!
Try Some Caffeine Gum!
Stay Up Late Quick Tips
- Get Sleep The Night Before
- Take Care of Your Eyes
- Keep Moving
- Some Caffeine- Helpful
- Limit Alcohol Consumption
- Eat Light
What About Caffeine?
When we’re tired, one of the first things we’re often drawn to is a cup of coffee… a Starbucks Latte or a Caribou Coffee espresso to get us in tip top shape for the big event. Perhaps your caffeine of choice is in a Red Bull or energy drink.
By definition, caffeine is a nervous system and cardiac system stimulant and could help many of us out as a short term fix to stay alert. However, think of staying awake as a three legged stool. One leg may be caffeine, but you need at least 2 other legs to get the full effect.
Based on my caffeine research, it takes between 15- 45 minutes for caffeine to effect our bodily functions and for the average healthy adult, the effect lasts up to four hours. It’s the level of caffeine in the blood reaching the brain that determines the potency of its effects on the body.
And, as caffeine gets metabolized by the liver and we urinate, the effects are lost.
Knowing this, if you want to drink some coffee or have an energy drink, do so at the beginning or during your night out versus sometime in the afternoon. A 3PM cup of Joe, might lead to an energy drop just at the time you are leaving to go out.
Can we drink coffee or tea all night? Well, many of us have experienced the effects of too much caffeine. We can become jittery, nervous even anxious. Our body may start to fight back with stomach aches, head aches etc. There is even a name for the symptoms of a caffeine overdose, “caffeinism”. So, caffeinate all night at your own risk.
5 Hour Energy- Sugar Free Stay Up Late Beverage
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Many of us enjoy having “a few drinks” when we go out with friends and partake in evening celebrations. The reality is, if you are trying to stay awake and alert, drinking alcohol will have the opposite effect.
Alcohol is considered a sedative, defined as a “Having a soothing, calming, or tranquilizing effect; reducing or relieving anxiety, stress, irritability, or excitement.”. We’ve all watched hospital shows when the mental patient’s freaking out and the doctor says in a calm voice, “Nurse, sedate this patient”. The lucky gal or guy gets a shot and they drift off to la la land.
I have to admit that I like the occasional Vodka Red Bull cocktail when I go out. As you’ve read, the drink is mixing a stimulant, caffeine, with a sedative, alcohol. So, you end up with two dueling drugs in your body- one offsetting the other. There have actually been articles written questioning the safety of this drink, due to the unusual combination. Perhaps this is a drink we need to enjoy at our own risk.
If you are trying to stay awake, you don’t want to sedate yourself. Limiting alcohol will help.
Think of the post Thanksgiving meal effect. We are bloated, our pants are tight, our stomachs are stuffed with a plethora of appetizers, main courses and desserts. We retreat to the living room, where we plop on the couch and can’t move for hours.
Now, think of your big, night out and how to eat for the opposite effect. If the big night out includes dinner first, order the lighter healthier options. Opt for grilled chicken, garden salads, soups. Avoid the heavy pasta dishes, mounds of mashed potatoes and big desserts. Choose grains, fruits and vegetables over fried foods and fatty pastries. Stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water.
I also find that eating small bites of food throughout the night, helps me to stay alert. Also known as “grazing” by some, this allows you to feed your body, but not gorge on large portions which can slow you down.
Enjoy Your Late Night Event!
In summary, whether you’re a morning person, a busy parent or someone approaching their latter years.. there are a number of things you can do to stay alert and stay awake for your big night out. It’s in your control and just takes a little planning.
So, go out, have fun and enjoy your late night out!!!
Copyright © 2009-2011, M. Reynolds, All Rights Reserved
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