Edmonton fans fighting sleep deprivation as Oilers playoff run continues

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Edmonton fans fighting sleep deprivation as Oilers playoff run continues

Edmonton Oilers games are starting late and ending later, leaving the Orange Crush crew sleep deprived for work and school the next morning.

After an 11-year drought, Oilers fans are more ready than ever to forgo sleep to support their team.

Sean Bowen was watching Game 5 against the San Jose Sharks when David Desharnais scored, winning the game in a nail-biting overtime.

"My family was asleep and I started screaming and yelling but I realized that I can't be too loud," Bowen said. "I'm scared that I will be too loud and wake up my family."

It's those late-night games that no Oiler fan can simply stop watching.

"You can see my colleagues at work," said Bowen. "They are pretty tired because sometimes, when the games are intense, they have problems going to bed at night."

Diet important too

That's not unusual, according to Dr. Atul Khullar, medical director of the Northern Alberta Sleep Clinic.

"If you are somebody who is usually going to bed a little earlier, you are getting supercharged at the time" said Khullar.

"It's almost like exercise. Adrenaline is racing, heart is pumping, emotion is going, which is a different kettle of fish and that can take people a while to wind down — notwithstanding the stuff you eat or drink during the game, as well."

The Oilers fans CBC News spoke with indicated coffee was the best way to bounce back in the early morning after an evening game.

For many, that's just the price you have to pay when your team makes it to the second round of the playoffs, said Oilers fan Carina Bellisle.

"Suck it up, it's the playoffs! It's worth it!"