The Forgotten Holiday That’s Costing You Sleep!
Now that the holidays are out of the way, it’s time to catch up on lost sleep! And what better way to catch up on those missing z’s than by celebrating the little known Festival of Sleep Day?
Festival of Sleep Day is on January 3rd, and though nobody is quite sure where and when it began, it’s clearly a much needed recovery from the stressful holiday season. Besides having to buy presents in crowded stores or the post office, the holidays are a time of increased activity overall, a perfect formula for losing sleep. Not only do many people skimp on their fitness routines during the holidays, but planning, executing and then cleaning up after activities adds additional stress. Eating habits also change dramatically over the course of the holiday season, forcing the body to compensate for digesting more and unfamiliar nutrients. People tend to drink more during the holidays too, so having to deal with poor eating, drinking, hangovers, regrets, or whatever else taxes the body. It can put the body into a state of chaos that leads to insomnia or worse! Festival of Sleep Day is thus a nice “counter holiday” to correct everything the holidays threw out of whack.
Why Catching Up On Sleep Matters
The benefits of sleeping well in general should be obvious. To decide whether it’s worth celebrating this lesser-known holiday though, here are some other lesser known benefits of getting better sleep:
A Sharp and Clear Memory
Many scientific studies have shown that when a person sleeps deeply, their brain activity increases dramatically. This sleep state produces REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which nourishes the brain and gets it ready to learn and retain new information. Young children go to school early in the morning for this reason, reiterating the benefits of getting deep sleep. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, children actually need 9-11 hours of sleep, more than the 7-8 that’s usually prescribed for the average adult. So while they’re still home from school for vacation, giving kids a way to get back on track before they return couldn’t hurt.
Avoid Dangerous Inflammation
Improper eating and drinking during the holiday can make issues a person had going in worse. Now that the holidays are over, using Festival of Sleep Day can be a way to cancel the effects of C-reactive protein buildup. This is a protein that’s associated with heart attacks and commonly found in people who consistently get less than six hours of sleep a night. If holiday functions or stress of gift-giving brought that on, sleeping it off on Festival of Sleep Day may be just what the doctor ordered!
De-Stress With Ease
In a classic chicken-and-egg type dilemma, researchers have found that stress generally hinders sleep, and stressing about not sleeping even more so. Those same researchers also found that depression, irritability, car accidents, poor judgment, and illness can all be linked to lack of sleep. Bottom line, getting adequate sleep is crucial, so dedicating a day just to that is hardly a sacrifice. It’s more of an investment in better living, a great one to begin a new year with.
Or put another way, if the holidays are a time of additional added stress, it follows that taking an extra day to help de-stress can be of great benefit.
After a time of great celebration, the last thing a person wants to deal with in the New Year is negative feelings toward life and themselves. Because insufficient sleep has been linked with depression, a holiday like Festival of Sleep Day can again help begin the year on the right foot. It also prevents undermining the joys experienced during the holiday. If the holidays are a break from life to reconnect with friends and loved ones, they should be a source of happiness, which catching up on sleep can help them be. If a person’s holidays weren’t as they expected, a nice Festival of Sleep Day rest can also help a person recover and take on the year to come with renewed energy and good spirits.
So how does one go about celebrating such a clearly beneficial holiday? These steps are ideal for making January 3rd the restful experience it’s intended to be:
- Decide who or what will help: Will the celebration be alone, or with a partner? Is that partner going to be a significant other? A pet? A child? Stuffed animal? A sibling? Naturally it’s best to choose a partner who is easiest to sleep with – partners who snores or kick make sleeping difficult. Research has also shown ample benefits of sleeping with an animal whose breathing or snoring can often serve as “white noise,” a droning sound conducive to sleep. Regardless of how it’s done, the goal is to make January 3rd a day of maximum slumber. Figuring out who or what will facilitate that is thus vitally important.
- 2. Wear comfortable clothing: Though research has shown the benefits of sleeping in the nude, this may not be a practical choice for everybody. People in colder climates may struggle to sleep nude, and other research has demonstrated the benefits of wearing socks to bed also. One thing most research agrees on however is that wearing restrictive clothing can make sleeping difficult. A holiday celebration based on sleeping can’t happen if the sleeper feels too restrained, so picking something that’s comfortable and sleep-inducing is crucially important.
- Figure out when and how much: Different people have different demands on their time, so while some may be off for Wednesday, January 3rd, others may already have returned to work or school. That being the case, for some the Festival of Sleep Day is one spent mostly in bed, while others might see it as a power nap. Still others may just end the day by going to bed early, but in every case, time has to be set aside where the person celebrating can just sleep. Other responsibilities have to be accounted for, either completed early or after the time allotted for comfortable sleep. Regardless, the main idea is not to just write this off as a day to get one’s normal level or quality of sleep – it has to be a day where for whatever decided length of time, phones are off, responsibilities are already taken care of or assigned to others, and a person can just celebrate by sleeping.
- What to sleep on and how are crucial! This is a situation in which one’s mattress becomes highly important. Traditional mattresses are limited by their age, level of firmness, who or what the sleeper will be sleeping with, and so on. A premium mattress like those by lull.com is designed for just such an occasion. A high quality gel-infused memory foam mattress is scientifically crafted to work wonders on the body. They’re perfect for Festival of Sleep Day or any other day of the year. Lull creates an affordable mattress that a sleeper can order online and sets up easily once shipped, hence the nickname of “a bed in a box.” This kind of mattress redistributes heat to maintain the perfect temperature regardless of who a person sleeps with. Gel-infused memory foam also greatly reduces the bed’s movement, minimizing disturbance to sleeping partners when they enter or exit the bed. Memory foam is made for a person to sleep on their back, side, or stomach without pain. No matter what position a person chooses to sleep in, the best mattress is one that makes sleeping easier. Celebrating Festival of Sleep Day on a lull.com online mattress ensures getting into this holiday’s spirit.
- Evaluate the results: Once the festivities are over, hopefully participants will experience their best sleep ever! And it’s good to take stock and see how exactly a person feels. If the sleeper is refreshed and ready to go the next day, Festival of Sleep Day was a success! If the sleeper wakes up still groggy, had trouble sleeping or is otherwise in pain, it’s time to look into what might have gone wrong. Were they disturbed by something or somebody? Were they able to get enough sleep? Was their mattress conducive to getting the best sleep?
These all may be things to plan for next year, and make the Festival of Sleep Day an annual tradition!