You know those event planning certificates or courses that helped you score your current planning job? Those prepared you for the industry. But, nothing prepares you for those eyelid-dropping, grind-filled overnight events you host. You might think it’s impossible to get a little sleepy at an event you're planning. After all, you have plenty to do, right?
Don’t be so sure. We all spend around two-thirds of our lives in bed. And, our bodies crave sleep when we miss our nightly deadline. Not only does sleep help our brains repair and replenish (a process called plasticity), but sleep becomes a significant part of our daily schedules.
So, when that overnight event starts, you may feel fine. Once it hits 4 a.m. — things can change fast. Here are some tricks you can use to stay awake, alert, and engaged during those overnight events or festivals.
1. Pack In Extra Sleep the Nights Before
Believe it or not, you can bank extra sleep. US Army Institute Research conducted a study where they took two groups of soldiers and deprived them of sleep for a week.
The first group was allowed to sleep over 8 hours a day the week before; the second group slept to a normal schedule. Here’s what’s crazy — the first group showed significantly less mental deterioration and more alertness after the week of sleep deprivation. They literally banked their sleep.
Next time you throw that overnight event, get your pajamas on early the week before — it could be the secret to fighting off those 4 a.m. eye rests.
2. ABM (Always Be Moving)
A simple and effective way to fight off those sleepy vibes is to simply move around. Getting your blood pumping will help keep your eyes open and mind alert. And, you don’t have to do anything crazy. Simply wiggling your toes, doing a small stretch, or walking around the event is enough to kick your brain back into gear.
Of course, you can start doing full-blown Jazzercise — we’re pretty sure that will quickly clear up any attendee attention or engagement problems you’re having.
3. Grab a Coffee or Tea
There’s a ton of conflicting evidence here. Some people will tell you to drink caffeine to stay awake while others will tell you it doesn’t work in the long-run.
Here’s the problem... 90% of American adults drink caffeine-packed beverages. We aren’t going to tell you to ditch the coffee all night. It’s our life source. And why should you? Research shows that caffeine helps you stay awake, and it has “positive impacts on physical and cognitive functioning.”
The secret lies in caffeine’s ability to block adenosine — which is responsible for giving you sleepy sensations. You obviously don’t want to drink too much coffee; side effects include nausea, anxiety, nervousness, and increased heart rate; you wouldn’t want that for a long night.
So, feel free to sip on that delicious coffee or tea drink. But you want to stay away from some other artificial caffeine drinks that may cause a sugar crash that can be hard to recover from a.k.a my next point.
4. But Not An Energy Drink
Energy drinks give you energy, sure. But not for long. Those sugary, delicious Red Bulls may be tempting, and they’re definitely marketed as energy-packed. But, all of that sugar is going to give you a massive crash halfway through the night that you just don’t have time for.
When you’re tired, your blood sugar levels are struggling to stay steady. Ingesting sugary snacks or beverages can shoot them out-of-control, and you can feel 10x more sleepy than when you started. Sugar crashes are very real. Their actual name is Reactive Hypoglycemia. And you don’t want that on the day of your big event so stay away from artificial sugar.
5. Get Uncomfortable
Have you ever tried to fall asleep on the floor? Or, have you had one of those restless nights where you can’t seem to get comfortable? Emulate those nights! Comfort plays a massive role in our sleep patterns. Think about it. You probably rest your head on a giant foam stuffed mattress laying on plush cotton pillows swallowed by a smooth, warm blanket. We really like to be comfortable when we turn out the lights.
So, when you catch yourself drifting off at your big event, make yourself uncomfortable. Take off your sweater to get cold, stand up instead of sitting down, and definitely don’t lay down!
6. Stay Away From the Booze
After you’ve finished admitting people into the event, you may be eyeing that open bar. But we heavily recommend staying away from alcohol.
We know! First, we tell you that you can’t sip on your Monster and eat those sugary cupcakes. And, now we’re telling you to stay away from the booze. This post is starting to sound like it was written by your grandma.
We promise! We’re not usually this big of buzzkills, but alcohol is the messiah of naps.
It has sedative effects that puts you right to sleep. So, save those celebratory drinks for after the event. But, hey, look at the bright side... you still get coffee.
7. Keep Your Mouth Busy
Before you judge this title, keep reading:). Next time your planning on staying up all-night-long, bring a pack of gum; this is literally your secret weapon. Studies show that chewing something and moving your mouth not only relieves sleepiness, but it also improves your concentration and memory! So, feel free to snack a little and chew some gum. Just stay away from the cupcakes.
You got this! Try out these different tips at your next overnight event and we promise you'll make it to see the morning.