Why We Should All Start Our New Year by Observing the Festival of Sleep

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Here’s hoping that your holiday season has been filled with joy, loved ones, and good health. But if we’re being honest, we’re pretty sure that the past month or so has been filled with over-eating, nonstop celebrations, an endless supply of champagne (or whatever your beverage of choice may be), and not nearly enough sleep. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Ask literally anyone you know and we’re willing to bet you’ll find that people don’t sleep enough during the holiday season. But the really excellent news is that as we kiss the holidays and New Year’s Eve madness goodbye, we have a new excuse to celebrate — January 3rd is the Festival of Sleep, which is literally the BEST way to kick-off 2020. 

No, we’re not making this up. The Festival of Sleep is actually a thing. It might not be a national holiday or an official awareness day, but it’s definitely a day we can get behind. Imagine, a day to focus on nothing but rest. An opportunity to relax, re-invigorate, and reboot. A day that is entirely dedicated to sleeping and catching up on the shut-eye you totally neglected since Thanksgiving. 

Not getting enough sleep seems harmless enough — the holidays were busy, you were stressed from social engagements and family reunions and gift-giving, etc., so you slept less and felt exhausted more. But that lack of sleep can actually do more damage to your overall health than you might realize. Experts agree that sleep is crucial to good health, and many of the costs of poor sleep go unnoticed. Medical conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease have been linked to insufficient sleep, and sleep deprivation is considered an important risk factor for several illnesses according to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

We all know how crappy we feel when we’re exhausted, sleep-deprived and operating on post-holiday fumes. Which is why this Festival of Sleep falling just days after New Year’s Eve wraps is such a genius day of rest we all deserve. Think of it as a vacation from your vacation — a day to relax after a far-from-relaxing festive month of fun. Seriously, put on your PJs and get back in bed, on January 3rd you have our permission to just chill.

Can’t skip work and spend the entire day in bed drifting off to dreamland? No worries, there are a lot of ways you can observe this day without your head even hitting the pillow. Listen to relaxing music as you wind down from the day. Take a relaxing bath instead of a quick shower to help your body and your mind relax. Keep your clothes comfortable, your sheets clean and soft, and your clutter to a minimum. Use the day as an excuse to keep things simple, soothing, and mellow.

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