Staying up late to watch the Super Bowl? Here's how to cope with Monday

So, what is your Super Bowl strategy?

Not the I’m-picking-the-Eagles-by-10-over-the-Patriots strategy. This is the how-to-stay-up-late-to-celebrate-and-still-function-on-Monday strategy.

We’re talking sleep.

The Monday after the Super Bowl has long been a tough one for American workers.

Two years ago Ohio governor and then-presidential candidate John Kasich offered up the best campaign promise ever when he suggested the Monday after the Super Bowl should be a national holiday.

Incredibly, he lost.

You may have even seen the annual articles about how there will be a billion dollars in lost office productivity the day after the big game, and wondered how they came up with such a conveniently round figure.

Anyway, if you’re potentially a part of that productivity dip, you might give some serious thought to preparing for Monday. Who wants to be responsible for crashing the global economy?

Camera icon Courtesy of Penn Medicine
James Findley, clinical director, Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at Penn Medicine.

First the bad news: Anyone who loses sleep will never fare well, said James Findley, clinical director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at Penn Medicine and a huge Eagles fan.

The good news: The effects are temporary, he said.

Here are his suggestions to make Monday a little easier.

Game day food and drink
Serve up the 7-layer bean dip and heavy foods early. Toward the end of the evening, switch to light carbssuch as popcorn or pretzels to avoid eating heavy foods within three hours of bedtime. Your digestion slows down when you sleep and indigestion or reflux might be a problem, Findley said. Sweets are best served early. Think dessert first.

For alcohol, that three-hour suggestion holds, as well. Moderation is key, he said.

What about coffee?
Coffee can wreak havoc on sleep. “You should be so excited about the game, you won’t need caffeine,” Findley said.

Advice for parents
If your parental strategy includes a nap for you or your elementary schooler, fuhgetaboutit.

“That is not going to help on Monday,” said Findley.  Naps make it likelier that both adults and children will have a harder time falling asleep. And if you think you can get the little ones to sleep in, Findley says it is entirely likely that a child in elementary school will wake up at their usual time.

Teens may be groggy and less attentive, but they will probably cope the best because not getting enough sleep is, to an extent, something they are already accustomed to, he said.

As for trying to store up sleep, that just doesn’t work, Findley said. All you can do is get back to normal as soon as possible.

Advice for teachers
“If I was a teacher, I would just be having Super Bowl celebrations,” said Findley. If the unthinkable happens, then everyone will be too down to do much of anything anyway, he said.

Camera icon Getty images/iStock photo
The day after the game, kids are likely to be groggy and cranky if they didn’t get enough sleep.

Advice for the boss
See above.

Advice for those who are set on going to work
Don’t plan on staying up late and doing something important the next day. If you can’t reschedule Monday plans, turn off the lights and check the score in the morning, Findley said.

“If your job involves heavy machinery you probably want to take the day off,” he said. “You don’t want to be operating a crane or backhoe on too little sleep.”

Advice for drivers
“Anyone who drives should know they are going to be impaired if they have too little sleep,” said Findley. That includes teens who drive to school, he added.

Take Uber, Lyft or public transportation, he said.

How to get to sleep
Plan on some down time after the game clock runs out to process the outcome. Avoid computer screens, smart phones, or tablets for at least two hours before bedtime. If possible, focus on something else: another television show, music, even crossword puzzles.

What is Findley’s super strategy?
Findley plans on watching the game, which will probably cut into his usual bedtime. Then he will take his own advice and decompress before going to bed.

“I’m taking public transportation to work in the morning,” Findley said. He also isn’t planning anything important before 11 a.m. “I’m going to be in pretty good shape.”