Halloween is upon us, with ghosts, goblins, and sleep stealers galore--but don't let that spoil your fun. Believe it or not, it is possible to have a happy Halloween and still get the sleep you need.
Chances are good that you know of a party happening this Halloween weekend, but did you know that it could be your #1 sleep stealer? Your circadian rhythm is a creature of habit and it doesn't care if the fun doesn't start until midnight--they want to be in bed! If you do decide to stay late, you could "push" your circadian rhythm back, making it harder to get to bed at your normal time. Check out my own sleep bedtime migration from last Halloween below; for the record, my normal bedtime is between 11:30pm-12 midnight.
So instead of trying to "trick them" with a 7pm cup of coffee (a bad idea when later followed with alcohol), treat them by arriving at the party early. That way you can stay, have fun, and still get to bed on time!
Hand in hand with parties often comes alcohol. While Halloween is a time to cut loose while dressed as Lady Gaga remember that alcohol--despite making you sleepy-- actually disrupts your sleep patterns long after the last drink. Plus, hangovers are not sexy.
Ever since you could lisp "twick or tweet", you understood that the #1 mission of Halloween was to get candy. Even as an adult it's hard to forget that connection, especially with the massive candy displays at the grocery store.
While there is little solid evidence directly linking candy consumption to disrupted sleep patterns, some people may be more sensitive to the effects of a "sugar buzz."
Likewise, similar complaints are often heard regarding the amounts of caffeine naturally present in chocolate (though you'd need to eat 1.5 lbs of chocolate to equal the amount found in coffee) so if you find yourself prone to "feeling the effects", skip the sugar and chocolate in the hours before bed.
Halloween is the time for horror movie fests, haunted hayrides, and generally trying to scare whomever you meet. Just keep in mind that your brain may decide to replay some of the imagery when it dips into REM, potentially causing a nightmare and jolting you awake.
Needless to say, your Zeo might record some extra long periods of wake as you try to fall asleep again. If you're not a fan (or know that you couldn't sleep the last time you watched "The Descent") best to skip out on the movie marathon--sleeping soundly is great piece of mind!