Prepare your sick notes and stock up on snacks - that’s the advice for Aussie sports fans facing a six week period of late nights as some of the biggest sporting events of 2015 take place on the other side of the world.
The run of international events could see Australian sports fans lose up to 15,575,000 hours of sleep on average a night, according to a study by wagering operator UBET.
The findings come on the eve of what will be one of the biggest nights of sport in 2015 with the State of Origin decider coinciding with the first day of the first Ashes Test, in Cardiff.
The UBET study revealed that more than half of Australians are planning to either stay up late or wake up early to follow the international events, with two thirds of those expecting to lose between one and four hours sleep a night on average. Almost a third said they would stay up as much as their body would let them.
Unsurprisingly, coffee and tea (36%) topped the list of ways Aussies stay awake, followed by snacking (21.3%), power naps (20.1%) and going for walks in ad breaks (15.6%). Those opting for midnight munchies were split evenly between sweet and savoury.
UBET Head of Product Gerard Daffy said the Aussies’ bid to retain the The Ashes combined with a strong Aussie contingent in the annual Wimbledon tennis and Tour de France cycling events, are expected to create an unprecedented level of interest in the overnight events.
“We’re expecting to take up to a thousand bets per minute on Wednesday night, with the combination of the Origin decider and the much-anticipated Ashes series opener creating a late night blockbuster,” Mr Daffy said.
“Aussie sports fans are going to have to set their body clocks to nocturnal settings over the next few weeks.”
Bosses around the country should take heed, with one in five viewers saying their productivity at work would be affected and almost 300,000 saying they’d resort to taking annual leave or calling in sick.
Dr Andrew Scott, Director of the Wesley Sleep Disorder Clinic, said a lie-in was probably the best option.
“If someone watches Wimbledon for two weeks then their ability to remember and retain new information will certainly be impaired,” Dr Scott said.
“Everyone is going to have a social life and stay up late to watch certain sporting event… but the truth is you can’t really make up for that metabolic or endocrine change you’re forcing your body to go through. I guess the best you can do is to compensate by sleeping in the next morning to get the quantity of sleep.”
Off the back of the findings UBET will be encouraging fans burning the midnight oil to use the hashtag #upallnight to rally behind their team with other night owls.
“We’ll also be running a series of special promos to reward those dedicated fans who push through,” Mr Daffy said.
UBET will be live betting on all Wimbledon and Ashes matches and provides 24/7 customer support via 13 UBET (13 8328).