Take a nap for Festival of Sleep day!

Who knew there was a holiday dedicated to sleep, Festival of Sleep Day? It may not replace Christmas but it sure does make my top five list of favorite holidays. So what is it, you ask? Well, to honour the holiday on January 3rd you simply have to take a nap, sleep in, or just spend the day in bed. We all have busy lives and many reasons to get out of bed, but now we have a reason not to.

In all seriousness, sleep is very important and something most people I talk to say they do not get enough of. I have received many helpful sleep techniques from facilitators and fellow family members at the various Family Forums that I have attended over the years. Mindfulness techniques and breathing exercises have been the most helpful. But simple things like not eating right before bed and staying off electronic devices to help give the mind time to rest also help ensure a good night’s sleep.

A quick search of the internet will show many side effects of not getting enough sleep. Lower productivity, weight gain, and a loss of cognitive thinking are just a few of the reported effects. I was not pleased to read that a chronic lack of sleep can cause aging effects on our bodies. Nobody wants that!

During my years sitting on a joint health and safety committee and as a health and safety consultant I have investigated way too many workplace accidents to mention. Although I didn’t keep track of how many, I do remember that many of the workers who were injured were injured in the early hours of the morning or at the end of a long 12-hour shift. I don’t recall fatigue, or lack of sleep, as ever being the root cause of an injury but it was a contributing factor in many of them.

So on Wednesday January 3rd you might want to let your boss know you are going to be late for work. You have the perfect excuse; it’s Festival of Sleep Day. You may even consider booking the whole day off and staying in bed for the day. The timing of the day works well for a New Year’s resolution: getting enough sleep every day, not just one day a year. Your body, mind and soul will thank you for it, and your loved ones will be thankful because you just might be that much safer at work.

Kevin Bonnis