Here’s why you should celebrate sleep this January
We all know that Christmas is far from the most relaxing holiday. With the combination of excess food and drink, regular celebrating, Christmas shopping and late nights, your overall health and sleep cycle can both suffer as a result of the festive season.
Which is why Festival of Sleep Day is a great opportunity to give your body some much needed rest and relaxation. The event was created in order to promote taking the time to regain a healthy sleep schedule in the new year.
But what exactly makes Festival of Sleep Day important, and what can you do to celebrate good sleep health? Let’s take a closer look.
How can you celebrate Festival of Sleep Day?
Festival of Sleep Day is all about finding the time to allow your body to rest. This means that ‘celebrating’ the event is simply a case of doing whatever it is that helps you relax. There are several factors you can consider when deciding how you’re going to appreciate the benefits of sleep.
Firstly, decide whether you want to sleep alone or if you want to invite a partner to celebrate with you. Both options have been shown to result in different health benefits – as sleeping next to someone has been found to release more endorphins, but sleeping alone is better for body heat regulation and finding the optimum sleep position.
Other options you can consider include how long you’ll be resting for – whether it’s a quick power nap after work or a full day of lounging – and which comfortable clothes you’ll be wearing.
You should also decide whether you’ll be sprawling out in bed, on a sofa or in a different comfortable setting. Choose a place which allows you to sleep in the best position: either on your back with a pillow behind your head and behind your knees, or on your side with a pillow between your knees. These two positions have been shown to be the most beneficial for your spinal health.
Of course, celebrating Festival of Sleep Day shouldn’t just be a restful intermission between bouts of poor sleep health. Festival of Sleep Day is your chance to start changing your sleep habits for the better, in the long term. If you do, you’ll notice the health benefits over time.
Why is sleep health so important?
Good sleep can have positive implications on both your physical and mental health. Sadly however, research shows that people are, on average, sleeping less than they used to and experiencing poorer quality sleep too. This makes Festival of Sleep Day the perfect opportunity to start improving your sleep habits.
Not only does sleep allow your body to rest and repair itself overnight, but it can even support your efforts to maintain a healthy diet and fitness levels. Poor sleep is strongly related to weight gain, as short sleep duration is a significant risk factor in obesity. In fact, one study found that adults with poor sleep quality are as much as 55% more likely to become obese.
This is partly due to a loss of will power when it comes to snacking on comfort foods, as well as a reduction in your motivation to exercise.
What’s more, sleep can improve your mental performance too, helping you retain memories and concentrate throughout the day. Factors such as cognition, productivity and performance have all been shown to improve as a result of quality sleep. One study on medical interns found that interns who suffered from sleep loss made 36% more mistakes on average than those allowed more sleep.
Sleep can even help reduce your risk of serious health concerns down the line, like heart disease and stroke. So why not use Festival of Sleep Day to kick start your new and improved sleep regime?