How to Stay Lucky with Sleep This St. Patrick’s Day

There’s one day out of the year when everyone is at least a little bit Irish, even if that only means imbibing in a green cocktail or wearing a touch of the country’s favorite color to avoid being pinched at work or school. We’re talking about St. Patrick’s Day, of course, and it’s one of the most popular holidays to celebrate in the United States.

Ironically enough, even though the holiday was inspired by a country that’s known for its love of adult beverages and is celebrated in America with the drinking of a lot of green beer (over $200 million worth, as a matter of fact), St. Patrick’s Day was originally a “dry” holiday in Ireland, and all bars were required to close their doors on the feast day of the country’s patron saint.

But other than wishing you a very happy Saint Patrick’s Day, what’s the point of bringing up the holiday on a blog that’s dedicated to helping you get better sleep? Well, the thing is that this particular day of celebration rarely falls on a workday, and that means that many of us end up drinking quite a bit more than we normally would in celebration, since we don’t have to worry about being up early the next day.

That means that we’re up later than usual (even for a weekend night), which has been shown to have an adverse effect on long-term work quality and levels of productivity, not to mention increasing the likelihood of workplace accidents and injuries. One recent study showed that employees that regularly lose out on sleep have been individually responsible for almost $2,000 in productivity losses for their companies.

And it’s not just staying up late to celebrate a wee bit of Irish cheer that can have a negative impact on your work life that you have to worry about when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day festivities. All of that green beer can end up causing you to have less of the deep sleep that you need to stay happy and healthy, as alcohol has been shown to reduce the amount of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep that we get when we’ve had one too many, according to WebMD.

Why is REM sleep so crucial when it comes to your overall well-being? It’s because that’s when you’re getting the most restorative effects when it comes to the health of your body and your mind. Losing out on REM sleep is what causes drowsiness and poor concentration during the day, which means that you’re just not able to perform at your peak after a night of hard drinking.

Alcoholic beverages have also been known to aggravate sleep apnea and other sleep disorders, increase your likelihood to engage in sleepwalking and sleep talking, and cause issues with your chance of memory problems and cognition. Yikes!

Now, we’re not trying to tell you to lay off of the green beer and cocktails completely during this St. Patrick’s Day. But if you’re concerned with being unable to be at your most productive the next day, your best bet is to make an attempt to limit the amount of alcohol you consume, and try to make it to bed at a reasonable hour.

Of course, you can always just use on of your vacation days for March 18th, as well! Either way, stay safe and have fun this St. Paddy’s Day. And as the Irish say, “may joy and peace surround you, contentment latch your door, and happiness be with you now and bless you evermore”!