The recent playoff games (NBA and Stanley Cup finals), as well as the World Series and NFL games on Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights later in the year, can keep you glued to your TV (if you’re on Central or Eastern Standard time) until well after midnight. But the alarm clock never goes off any later the next morning, and you may have to head to work or get the kids to school with a mind-numbing five hours or less of shut-eye.
Call that unnecessary roughness; it inevitably leads to a big penalty for you! Getting that little sleep causes fuzzy thinking, interferes with memory (it can lead to formation of false memories), inflicts cell damage, especially to the liver, lung and small intestines, and dings your sex life. And if you have prediabetes or diabetes, researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in Doha, Qatar, found that every 30 minutes of weekday sleep debt increases your risk of obesity by 17 percent and your risk of insulin resistance by 39 percent.
We know you aren’t going to miss that hair-raising playoff game (we don’t!), so what’s the solution? DVR the end of the game to watch over breakfast; plan for a 30-minute walk and then a power nap at your lunch hour the next day; make an effort to eat well (lots of veggies and whole grains, lean protein and water); and get 30 minutes of added exercise later in the day to help regulate your metabolism. Then you’ll be playoff sharp for the championships.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.