Enjoy all the Halloween fun without ruining your sleep
You don’t have to be a kid to love Halloween. Costumes, decorations, and candy, what’s not to love? By now, you’ve probably set the spooky stage with creepy decorations, picked out costumes for you and your kids, and bought enough candy to satisfy trick-or-treaters for several Halloweens. We have some suggestions to help you lose as little sleep as possible without ruining the fun.
1. Eat high-fiber foods and drink water throughout the day.
Everyone has their favorite Halloween treat. Candy surveys have concluded the nationwide favorite is Reese’s Cups—with M&M’s, Hot Tamales, Skittles, and Sour Patch Kids not far behind. The common factor seems to be that they are all rich in high-glycemic-index carbohydrates, which can raise blood sugar levels. At least one study has “concluded that poor sleep quality was significantly related to higher added sugar intake.” 
Meanwhile, dehydration can make you feel tired, fatigued, and lethargic and lead to symptoms such as muscle cramps, headaches, and dryness in the mouth and nasal passages, which affect sleep. Drinking water at regular intervals keeps you hydrated, leading to good sleep. Keep drinking the next day to flush the toxins from your body.
One way to reduce your sweet cravings and to prevent dehydration is to eat foods rich in fiber and water. High-fiber foods are high in bulk, which gives you a sense of satiation and reduces your craving for unhealthy snacks. However, it’s asking a lot to suggest you choose a crudité platter over all the candy at hand on Halloween night. Simply, recognize the negative effect the sugar might have on your sleep and get back to your regular routine the next day.
2. Squeeze in a nap.
If the celebration will go until late at night, try to squeeze in a nap before the festivities. Remember to take your nap in the early afternoon and to keep it short—under 30 minutes—so as not to negatively affect your sleep that night.
3. Watch out for scary Halloween movies that might keep you up.
Watching horror movies is a long-time Halloween tradition. Contrary to what you may think, watching horror movies might be beneficial in exposing us to dangerous situations we would not otherwise encounter without the accompanying jeopardy. A 2021 study “found that horror-movie fans have been more resilient during the pandemic, as opposed to fans of other genres.” The authors of the study found the results “consistent with the hypothesis that exposure to frightening fictions allow audiences to practice effective coping strategies that can be beneficial in real-world situations.”
Another benefit is the fact that super-scary movies distract us from our everyday worries. They also create a bond among those watching. There is nothing like being scared to draw us closer.
However, unless you’re accustomed to horror movies, they may leave you disturbed for some time. Horror movies can inhibit deep relaxation because your brain is too busy processing what happened in the movie to prepare itself for rest. So, if you’re planning on watching a horror movie, make sure you do it well before you plan to go to sleep.
4. Avoid caffeine-containing foods (too much chocolate) before bedtime.
It’s Halloween, so you might not be able to avoid chocolate candy, particularly if you’re one of the many who favors Reese’s Cups. Remember, cocoa solids, the main ingredient of many chocolates, contain caffeine, a known stimulant. Caffeine affects natural sleep cycle patterns so limit your intake of chocolate candy close to bedtime.
5. Stick to your bedtime routine, as much as possible.
We highly recommend creating a bedtime routine to help you fall and stay asleep. Keep to that routine as much as possible. Whether that’s taking a bath, playing soothing music, or donning an eye mask, take care of yourself.
Have a spooky and safe Halloween.
-The Team at Down Etc
Photo: Ryan Miguel Capili
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