As reported by The Hartford Courant, October 21, 2004.

Baseball's Been Very, Very Bad for Sleep

By Steve Grant

We already were in trouble - big trouble - long before the Red Sox and the Yankees went at it.

We're talking about sleep.

Everyone knows we weren't getting enough anyway, and now we've had games that have kept us up past 1:30 a.m. Seems like the games last almost as long as the workday.

Even the early-to-bed-bunch is staying up - and paying the price.

Daniel McNally, medical director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the University of Connecticut Health Center, says that with every late game we are unwittingly resetting our internal clocks. And with the ring of the alarm each morning, we've compounded our sleep deprivation.

"You have something on the TV nice to watch. It doesn't feel particularly bad to do it. But the next morning, to the degree your clock has shifted, it can be a little harder to get up. But it's not a big deal," McNally said. "The next night, the next game, it will actually feel a little easier to stay up. But that following morning is trouble."

By then, your body is unhappy. It has been thrown out of its routine; it wants more sleep. Mentally, you are not as alert. You may be grumpy. Add alcohol to the game-time mix, and things get uglier the next morning.

"Alcohol is awful for sleep," McNally said. "Alcohol does make you more sleepy. Initially you fall asleep quicker." But, he said, during the second half of the night, sleep is broken up and less restorative.

McNally has some suggestions for the future: Be as consistent as you can be with your sleep times. Things like baseball playoffs will from time to time throw you off your sleep schedule, but stay as close to your usual schedule as possible.

If you decide a nap is the way to catch up on sleep, for many people the best time would be 1 or 2 in the afternoon. (How's the floor space under your desk?) If you sleep later in the day, it can affect the quality of sleep that night.

Keep naps short. McNally suggests 20 or 30 minutes, or you risk falling into a deep sleep and awaking groggy.

Fortunately, most people can recover reasonably quickly from a Red Sox-Yankees series - sleepwise, at least. "You can kind of straighten it out in a couple of days," McNally said.

But the World Series begins Saturday at about 8:30, another night game, and continues Sunday and Tuesday. . "We'll be in trouble by next week," McNally said.