Today we celebrate a brilliant day that could not come at a better time, the Festival of Sleep Day. The Festival of Sleep Day occurs strategically soon after New Years, annually on January 3rd to help us all reset. You survived Christmas and New Years, but have the holidays left you feeling more drowsy or with lower than normal energy this week? No surprise there! It is expected that the end of year holidays with time off work would allow plenty of rest and refresh. For many, these end-of-year friends and family gatherings prove the exact opposite, with packed schedules to fit in all of the visiting, cooking, traveling, and more.
As our schedules are picking back up at work or school, it is an optimal time to take self-inventory of sleep patterns and improve sleep. Sleep is vital for health, performance, mental focus, and mood – emphasize sleep on your to-do list today. My suggestions for making the most of Festival of Sleep Day:
1. Find a block of time for extra sleep.
Whether you can sleep in today, take an afternoon nap, or end your day earlier and snooze by 8 pm, pick what suits your schedule best and make it happen! A power nap counts, too, for those of you thinking you just can’t cut the time. Trust me, a 20 minute nap can re-energize you during a hard day.
2. Remember that sleep is productive in the big picture
We have all been guilty of beating ourselves up about being as productive as possible. Coming off of Christmas and New Year where we spent more time relaxing with family and less time worrying about our daily responsibilities or work production can cause some anxiety about needing to jump back into productive mode. As a crucial part of self-care just like nutrition and exercise, we need to realize that sleep will improve our lives and amplify our productivity. Let yourself shut out the world and get some needed shut eye!
3. Make this sleeping session as comfortable as you possibly can
Go all out on Festival of Sleep Day and get your space as comfortable as you can. Wear what makes you the most comfortable to sleep in, darken the room or use a sleep mask if you have one, and use any other comforts that work for you. For some, white noise or soft music is helpful to ease an active mind and drift into a peaceful slumber. For others, different pillows available make a huge difference. Some might enjoy napping somewhere new, like in a hammock outdoors, the living room couch, or the guest bedroom.
If you have the time today, add something new to your sleep session and change it up! As I am 36 weeks pregnant and have a few days until my dietetic internship and MBA classes start back up, I am going to pull out all the stops today for Festival of Sleep Day. Sleep in, check, midday cat nap, check, plenty of pillows and blankets handy, check!
I hope that you snooze well today. Happy Festival of Sleep Day to you all!