Beep, beep, beep, bang! After a deep sleep, the last sound you want to hear is the alarm clock, and you might even take your frustration out on it by slamming the snooze button or pushing it off the nightstand. Sleep can be hard to come by due to stress, anxiety and noise pollution, and some people have a history of insomnia that they just can’t shake. Everyone knows that eight hours of sleep every night is important for overall health, but you can’t always guarantee a good night’s sleep, no matter how hard you might try.
On Monday, January 3, feel free to not set your alarm and relish in those peaceful dreams, because it will be the Festival of Sleep Day! This is the perfect time to dedicate to sleeping — it’s after the holidays, and it will give you a chance to catch up on your slumber so you can take on the New Year.
Nod Off on the Festival of Sleep Day
How the Sleeping Celebration Began
The origin of how the Festival of Sleep Day started is unknown, but every year this obscure holiday is getting more recognition. Unlike other celebrations, this holiday focuses on rest and relaxation and uncovering the dreamy recesses of the mind. Instead of cooking, socializing and giving gifts, you can lounge around in your pajamas and lay your head to rest.
So how do people celebrate this dreamy holiday?
Some people require cozy accessories (i.e., a favorite pillow, significant other, the family pet, a stuffed animal, warm cotton pajamas) as well as a peaceful setting away from noise and other disturbances. Others enjoy nodding off by the fire or while watching a favorite movie — whatever way you can get to sleep is acceptable. This day provides an opportunity to get recharged for the New Year, so you can lounge around, sleep all day, take a short nap or sleep in. Depending on your mood and needs, you can enter the Land of Nod for a short 20 minutes or a full eight hours or maybe even longer!
Other people are using social media outlets like Facebook to commit to the celebration of the Festival of Sleep. If you’re in touch with the online world, you can RSVP to invitation pages or send out your own invite to encourage people to take part in this holiday. Or, challenge friends to see who can get the most sleep that day. There are even websites selling Festival of Sleep paraphernalia like t-shirts, buttons and aprons to raise awareness about this unusual holiday.
Sleep Does Have a Purpose
Lack of sleep can result in many undesirable health issues. Without sufficient rest, your learning and memory skills, mood, cardiovascular health, immune system, metabolism, and among other things can be compromised. When you don’t get enough sleep, it can turn you into an entirely different person—one who is more easily irritated, impatient and less careful. It’s not fun for you or others to be a grumpy grouch.
Now that you know what the Festival of Sleep Day is all about, you can prepare for it!
Prepare Your Outdoor Space for Snoozing
Remember the Dutch lullaby by Eugene Field called “Wynken, Blynken and Nod”? In this poem, “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night/Sailed off in a wooden shoe/Sailed on a river of crystal light/Into a sea of dew,” and near the end of the prose, you find, “Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes/And Nod is a little head/And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies/Is a wee one’s trundle-bed.”
Breathing in the fresh ocean air and being rocked to sleep are sure-fire ways to lull yourself to dreamland—it worked for Wynken, Blynken and Nod. So create a luxurious atmosphere outside your home and take advantage of the cool breeze and natural smells of the great outdoors.
Ways to Create a Tranquil Setting
A hammock can give you that calm rocking motion, and it can make you feel as though you’re at an oceanside resort right in your backyard. With an oversized hammock, you can enjoy a catnap with your kids, significant other or pet. If a rope hammock doesn’t appeal to you, try a hammock chair where you can sit upright and swing to your heart’s content.
Chaise lounge chairs can also provide convenient resting spots on the patio or poolside. Just don’t forget to fall asleep under a patio umbrella or cabana to avoid sunburn. Who can resist a day full of naps, swimming and snacking? If you really want to bring the feel of the indoors outside, create a nook for relaxation with an outdoor sofa or loveseat. On cooler fall days, you can lay back and stay toasty near a fire table.
This Monday try to snooze for longer. Even if you have to work, go into the office an hour later or at least block out a naptime during the afternoon or early evening. Power naps can boost your energy and give you a fresh take on the day. Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite this Festival of Sleep Day!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marina Hanes is a writer and owner of Cat’s Eye Editing, LLC. She received a B.A. in Professional Writing & Editing from Youngstown State University, and her professional area of focus is Environmental Studies.