We all know that someone who falls asleep while watching a movie — and maybe that someone is you.
Blame it on a hectic day, the lack of sleep, or the fact that, now, it’s simply a habit. So when the credits roll up, they do so alongside light snores.
The combination of a comfortable couch, a hearty dinner and dim lighting can’t help but put you to sleep. On the occasion that it is a date or a family night, and you need to stay up the entirety of the movie — whether that is the three-hour-long “Avatar: The Way of Water” or the 2-hour-long “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” — here are tips to help.
All about the setting
Dim lights put your body on “bedtime mode,” slowly preparing to go to sleep. If you’re watching the movie later in the day, turn the lights on as bright as your eyes can tolerate.
The same goes for where you sit. If your brain associated the couch with nap time, it may be hard to stay powered up while watching a film.
“A person might want to watch it at their partner’s house or a friend’s house instead. Or sit in a chair that’s not as comfy in your living room instead of the comfy couch,” Brittney Jones, a psychologist who is an insomnia specialist at a telehealth company called DrLullaby, told Wired. Consider sitting up or sitting in a different position to keep your brand and body awake.
What’s on the menu?
A big greasy pizza or a plate full of pasta are bound to put you into a food coma. When our body digests food, it also releases hormones like cholecystokinin (CCK), glucagon and amylin, which can also lead to drowsiness, according to Healthline.
Avoid fast food and large meals, and instead opt for a snack or a small meal, like a charcuterie board, as Jones suggested.
Walk around, do something
Snacking throughout the movie will allow you to get up, stroll around and get the juices flowing. Chatting with another person during this time may increase mental alertness instead of endlessly scrolling on the phone.
There may be times when the situation is more dire and sleep is taking over. In this case, try a more physical activity like jumping up and down or dancing around to shake off the lethargy. Plan the intervals by breaking them apart, allowing you plenty of breathing room to refocus as a viewer.
Some might find it helpful to work on hobbies and chores, like knitting or folding laundry. while watching the movie to stay engaged.
Face the debt
There is no point trying to stay awake if you’re sleep deprived. Using the above-mentioned techniques may help you stay up but won’t guarantee an enjoyable experience.
It’s best to catch up on much-needed sleep and address the root causes behind sleep deprivation. On the occasion that this is a more common occurrence, it's advisable to see a physician.