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How to stop falling asleep on the couch while watching a movie


I’ve seen the first half a billion movies. This is how a typical movie night goes for me: After eating too many french fries from rocket and washed it down with a couple of beers, I was wrapped in a plush blanket, laid across the couch and sprawled out before Michelle Yeoh arrived at the hot dog scene in Everything Anywhere All At Once.

Maybe your schedule is very busy, but you still want to catch every twist in your life Onion movie. Or perhaps your partner’s date night choice seems like a snooze festival and you’re trying to pass the credits on. Morbius. Whatever your reason for staying awake, keep the following advice in mind the next time you stream something at home.

Save hard drinks for another night

Those six cans of beer may need to spend another evening chilling in the fridge if you’re determined not to doze off movie night. Aric Prather, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at UC San Francisco, points to the drowsy effects of alcohol. “If you drink that extra glass of wine while you’re watching a movie at night, you don’t move and fall asleep?” he says. “Well, it’s better than a horror movie to keep you sane.”

Instead of Takeout, try Charcuterie for dinner

OK, so now I’m sipping whiskey and Coke (hold the whiskey). What about my takeout? A big, greasy pizza or a mountain of delicious Indian food is probably not the ideal choice if you want to keep your eyes open. “Your body has this relaxation response that can occur after eating a large meal,” says Brittney Jonesa psychologist and insomnia specialist at a telehealth company called DrLullaby. “So I’d say go for something smaller, whether it’s a snack or a small meal, like a barbecue board.” That was a great suggestion, although she clearly never saw how much cheese and crackers I could put in while gobbling up one. charcuterie table.

Your couch might be a little too cozy

If you enjoy taking a nap on the very couch you’re trying to watch a movie on, your body can be trained to recognize that position as the key point to turn off the power. “Instead, a person might want to watch it at their partner’s house or a friend’s house. Or sit on an uncomfortable chair in your living room instead of the comfy couch,” says Jones.

Your bed is definitely too cozy

As tempting as it may sound, your bed is probably the worst place in the house to stream movies. “So we wanted to try to turn the bed into a temple for sleeping,” says Prather. “Sleep and sex.” Are you having trouble maintaining a regular sleep schedule? Movie night in bed is definitely not the way to go. “For people who tend to have trouble sleeping or they already have sleep problems, it can help perpetuate those problems,” he says. “Your body is a little confused about what it’s supposed to do.”

Face your overall sleep deprivation

“What if a person lacks sleep and then they want to watch a movie at night? You might not be able to watch even 30 minutes of the movie,” Jones said. She suggests trying to rest the night before, as well as address any root causes behind your lack of sleep.

Hold the remote nearby to press Pause

Get your blood pumping again with regular breaks throughout the movie, not just when you need to use the bathroom. Feel like you’re on the brink of sleep? Jones can be a cue to hit pause, get up, get some popcorn, get a drink, move around a bit, says Jones.

Into the decadent bliss of sleep

“I will not try to stay awake,” wrote Christine Blumea sleep scientist at Time Biology Center in Switzerland, by email. “Give your body what it clearly needs.” She has a point! If you’re exhausted after a week of draining energy, cutting your movie night a bit short is a healthy decision.

Continue to happen? Consider talking to a doctor

Habitual falling asleep while watching a movie could be a sign of undiagnosed sleep apnea, says Prather, “if it’s persistent and it happens in other settings, especially during the daytime,” says Prather. the day after what you think is a good night’s sleep.” Does this apply to you? Think about contacting your primary care provider to talk about sleep problems.

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