Olympic Jet Lag
We are fully into the Olympic madness in Vancouver and it is becoming obvious to us all, that the time change is playing a distractive role in our sleep schedules.
With a full 12 hour difference between us and Sochi, the majority of the 3,417 events that will take place in the wee hours of the morning. Our options: stay up late and burn the midnight oil watching the skeleton athletes hurl themselves headfirst down the track or get up early and catch Canada’s Men’s Hockey Team pulverizing the Swedes. One thing is for sure, both will mess with your sleep and ultimately your daily performance.
The stay-up option and the get-up-early option both reduce the number of hours you have with your mattress. Unfortunately, the reduction in hours impedes the time your body spends in REM sleep. REM is the last stage of the five separate stages your body goes through when you sleep. Your body spends about 90 minutes in each stage. The fifth stage, REM, is the stage that concerns your mental restoration process.
When we reduce or skip this stage our brain processing suffers. Our bodies might be physically restored, but our minds lag.
If we continue this cycle, the body also starts to weaken. Our immune system loses its capability to ward off unwanted viruses and our cardiovascular system starts to fail.
So how do we watch the games with the least amount of impact to our health?
Enlist the mighty powers of technology. Your PVR has now become your new best friend. Spend some time with the Olympic schedule, figure out the events you want to watch and set the record button. The trick is staying away from your social media circles, so as not to accidentally spoil your programming.
If you absolutely have to watch the events live, try to stock up on sleep during the nights leading up to your must-see competitions. You can also try adding a nap to your daily routine. A little extra shut-eye goes a long way. Just make sure you keep it to under an hour. Any longer and you will disrupt your regular sleep hours.
Good luck. And Go Canada Go!!!