Win or Lose, You Can Get Your Best Sleep After the Super Bowl!
If there’s anything you can make a case for being as American as apple pie, it’s the Super Bowl. The championship game between the National Football League’s American and National Football Conferences has been an American institution since 1967, when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl I. The Super Bowl has steadily grown in popularity since then, to the point that it’s estimated that 111,300 million people watched the game last year. That’s 70% of the country as a whole, making it easily the most-watched television event in the United States. Definitely an event you can’t sleep on! Or can you? Read on…
Because of the Super Bowl’s rampant popularity, it has very much become an event unto itself for the home viewer, with Super Bowl parties of every kind springing up. $138,500 was gambled away on last year’s game, so its importance to a viewer cannot be understated. With so much riding on the game, for some a win can mean a jolt of testosterone that’s scientifically been shown to actually increase a person’s lifespan! While the agony of defeat can mean actual agony in the form of depression or fan rioting. Long story short, even though the Super Bowl is just a game, the effects of the festivities and the rollercoaster ride of emotions that comes with them can affect everything from diet, mood, and even whether you’ll be able to sleep well afterward. Like sleep itself, the Super Bowl is best when not taken lightly!
A Brief History of Gridiron Football
Before diving into how to manage all this madness, some words on where it all came from: American “gridiron football,” as it’s known internationally, evolved from rugby and soccer in the latter part of the 19th Century. It’s named “gridiron” for the vertical yard lines that make up its rectangular field. On November 6, 1869 in New Brunswick, New Jersey, teams of students from Rutgers and Princeton Universities played a new game with rules adapted from the London Football (soccer) Association. It was officially sanctioned by both schools in response to many informal games that were played amongst college students, as a safer alternative to other rowdy activities they could be getting into.
This unique game combined soccer rules (except you can use your hands) with rugby’s (except that each team can control the ball in alternating possessions). Despite its hodgepodge nature the game caught on, and several other universities joined in. Then in 1873, students from Princeton, Yale, and Rutgers met in New York City to form the Intercollegiate Football Association. This standardized the rules some, but the sport continued to evolve.
Finally in 1878, a Yale medical student named Walter Camp came to be known as “The Father of American Football.” This was because he dominated the IFA rules committee for the next three decades and instituted two rules that brought it closest to the game Super Bowl fans know and love: He added the scrimmage to begin the game, and the rule that each team must advance the ball a certain number of yards per down or turn it over to the other team. This made football more competitive and fun, which is why it’s the draw that it is every year on Super Bowl Sunday.
You’d Better Start Making Your Super Bowl Plans
With all of this development and hoopla, the Super Bowl has become a major social event for many, similar to any holiday celebration. It’s an opportunity for whoever has the biggest house or TV to have people over, cook some food, serve refreshments and watch the big game. Here are five fun ideas to make your Super Bowl party extra special:
1. Create the Right Mood: With a little creativity you can give your den or living room the perfect game day atmosphere. Get some artificial grass, masking tape, measuring tape and scissors to create your own special game day rug. Hang banners and jerseys or pennants for whichever team you support or both. Heck, the Raiders, the Bears, and the San Diego Chargers have all made songs to commemorate their teams’ past successes – why not play those at your party, or any number of “jock jams,” like Queen’s “We Will Rock You?”
2. Feed Your Hungry Fans: During a typical football season, fans “tailgate” in stadium parking lots, meaning they host cookouts before and after games. Why not make the Super Bowl into the ultimate tailgating event? Check out this article for some fun unique recipes for chicken wings, dips for chips, mini-burgers or “sliders,” and even some vegetarian options to satisfy every Super Bowl fan. The more the merrier on game day!
3. Have Fun With the Halftime Show: Part of the reason why the Super Bowl has become such a universal celebration is because even people who are not into football enjoy it. One reason for this is because the Super Bowl often boasts the biggest acts in music for its halftime show. This year pop star Justin Timberlake will be performing, and anybody who’s watched previous Super Bowls can tell you at least two interesting things about him: he was part of a “boy band” in the late ‘90s called NSYNC, and had a famous “wardrobe malfunction” at a previous Super Bowl halftime show with pop star Janet Jackson. Why not have your party guests all dress up as members of NSYNC or other ‘90s pop stars? Why not reenact the fateful wardrobe malfunction with hilarious results? (And for those that really know Justin, he has a pretty famous ex and sang a fun little ditty about a box that might suggest some interesting ideas as well…!)
4. Take it Outside: Depending on where you live, you might be able to turn your Super Bowl party into a real tailgate or picnic. While the people who are actually watching the game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis may have the best view, they also have to brave the cold to get to it. Those of us living in milder climes can fire up the grill in the backyard or take the party to a park with a picnic basket, blanket and all of our friends.
5. Vote For Your Favorite Commercial: Another reason the Super Bowl is such a big deal is because of its famous commercials. Because of the multiplicity of viewing options in the cable and internet age, television ratings in general are not as high as they once were. The Super Bowl however, remains one of the few television events that many Americans will watch live, allowing the hosting network to command top dollar for ads played during the Super Bowl. This year, advertisers will shell out $5 million dollars for a 30-second spot in Super Bowl LII, and you’d better believe they bring in the big guns when they’re handing out that kind of coin. Celebrities, creative storylines, expensive graphics and effects are all staples of Super Bowl advertising.
Why not have someone at your Super Bowl event keep track of all the ads, and then at the end of the night vote on your favorite? Football fans may talk about the game afterward, but those of us who are in it just for the event itself can have plenty to discuss too. Again, what makes the Super Bowl so special is that it can be fun for everybody, no matter which team they support. In fact, a good Super Bowl gathering doesn’t really have to be about the game at all – the more creative you are with it, the more anybody can play along.
5 Ways To Sleep Well After the Super Bowl
For those of us who have a dog in the fight though, the Super Bowl is not so simple. Once the game clock ticks down to zero, the winning team’s fans will experience pure euphoria, while those who rooted for the loser can really suffer. “Sports fan depression” is a real thing, and can make a person irritable or grouchy, prevent them from focusing at work, and even make it hard to sleep. The reason is because everything about the Super Bowl makes your brain think that it’s really happening to you. The stakes are high in the Super Bowl – it’s the championship of a long NFL season – and the die-hard fans have been following it this whole time. If you gamble it affects you even more, because now you have a personal stake in the game, and it really matters who wins and who loses. On a chemical level, your brain goes into “fight or flight” mode, making the outcome very real to you. How do you combat that when it’s over and just sleep?
- Remember that it’s just a game – so much easier said than done (especially if you bet on the game), it still helps to remind yourself that this game is only one aspect of your overall life. If you focus on the other things that might be going well – you have a great job and / or family, your team in another sport is doing well; your children are happy, healthy, etc. – you’ll realize that the Super Bowl really is just one game. Once it’s over, it’s time to shift your focus to everything else that matters, like getting your best sleep!
- Maintain your regular sleep routine – whatever you do to get to sleep at any other time of the year doesn’t go out the window just because it’s the Super Bowl. If you meditate, wear socks, drink warm milk, or take a shower before bed, you can’t forget to do those things now. Wallowing in Super Bowl self-pity or drunken ecstasy is not the way to go if you want to fight the effects of insomnia. Be you.
- Switch gears and think about the next thing – As mentioned in #1, most sports fans have multiple teams whose seasons are designed to be just around the corner when the Super Bowl ends. After the Super Bowl, basketball season ramps up, and spring training is on its way for baseball fans. If you’re not into other sports, even helping to clean up after Super Bowl festivities gives you something to hang your mind on and wind down before you sleep. Focus on something else and your head will be clear when it hits the pillow.
- Stay social – Here’s the thing – the best part of the Super Bowl is that it brings people together. If you’re a fan, you’ve got other fans in your corner to help cheer you up if things didn’t go your way. If you have a family, focusing on them and their needs is a great way to make up for lost Super Bowl energy. Celebrating with friends or talking about it brings you down from that Super Bowl high, getting you ready for bed.
- Make sure you have a premium mattress – nothing helps you sleep well after a big event like a gel-infused memory foam best mattress to crash on. If you sleep alone, the pressure relief you’ll feel after an emotionally taxing game will make you feel like you sleep on a cloud. And if there are other “fans” (or non-fans) joining you in slumber, you can slip in and out of the bed without disturbing anybody. The three-layer memory foam always keeps the temperature right, and the responsive back support make it easy to forget the game and hit the hay. With a guaranteed 10-year warranty, it’s an investment that will pay off for many Super Bowls to come. Win or lose.
The big game is always a big deal, so if you want to enjoy it properly, you have to plan ahead. Pull off the perfect party, mentally prepare for any outcome, and make sure you have the right equipment to sleep on afterward. Follow this formula, and you’ll be a winner every time. Sleep well!