National Napping Day: Why, When & How to Celebrate - Bizarre Holidays
National Napping Day is observed annually. Photo: Twitter

Each year, National Napping Day recognizes our need the day following the return of daylight saving time. Not only does the observance encourage a nap, but it also reminds us that there’s no shame in taking one either. While preparing for the time change can offset the shock to our internal clock, many other things in our life may not handle the change so well causing us to still lose sleep. Young children and pets do not adjust as easily and certain work schedules do not permit early adjustment, either.

Mid-afternoon naps are an integral part of most cultures and scientifically proven to be good for you. A needed rest can make you feel better and also improve your mood. After having the extra amount of sleep, a person will notice that they will be more productive and energetic. Numerous studies have shown that short 10-20 minute naps are the most effective when midday fatigue hits. Improvements in alertness, productivity, and mood have all been shown to improve with this type of snooze.

Though there are some of us who are just not the napping kind, if you can reap those benefits, find a cozy spot for 10 minutes or so on National Napping Day.

What is National Napping Day?

National Napping Day is a sort of unofficial holiday in which the benefits of catching some extra ZZZ’s is appreciated, as cited by Sleep Advisor. The holiday was invented to spread more awareness of the positive health benefits of taking a nap. Nodding off, even in small 20 to 30-minute increments, has been shown to improve awareness and energy.

When is National Napping Day?

The day after Daylight Savings Time returns to account for the change in waking and sleeping hours as clocks “spring forward.” This year, the unofficial holiday will take place on March 15th, 2021, though maybe different internationally.

National Napping Day: Why, When & How to Celebrate - Bizarre Holidays
National Napping Day will take place on March 15th, this year. Photo: EarthSky

History of National Napping Day

According to National Today, National Napping Day was created in 1999 by a Boston University professor and his wife. William Anthony Ph.D. and his wife Camille Anthony created this holiday to spread awareness on the importance of getting enough sleep and its benefits.

The holiday was meant to help make up for the amount of sleep lost when the hour changes. The date was chosen because studies have shown that people are already at their most tired and sleep-deprived after daylight savings changes. The change of the hour really makes a difference, but National Napping Day can make you feel like there was no change at all.

However, even though the holiday wasn’t created until 1999, the Spanish already had the tradition of taking an afternoon “siesta.” That’s good news for Spain since daylight savings won’t affect the routine of the people there too much. The Ancient Romans were known to take midday naps as well. With the hustle and bustle of modern life, midday naps seem more like a thing from the past to most people.

Naps are seen as luxuries now, a symbol of extra time most of us can’t afford. But back then naps were seen as a necessity and were sometimes used for medicinal purposes and even religious practices. Even though National Napping Day was created 21 years ago, it still doesn’t have actual recognition as an official national holiday. Although National Napping Day isn’t technically a real holiday, who doesn’t love a reason to nap?

How It's Celebrated

National Napping Day is celebrated by dozing, snoozing, sleeping on the job!

The entire point of this holiday is to allow people a few extra minutes of rest, especially for those who are struggling with the DST transition. People are invited to catch a quick snooze and post about it on social media using hashtags to help spread awareness of the holiday to others. Yes, a few lucky individuals even get to rest at work.

National Napping Day: Why, When & How to Celebrate - Bizarre Holidays
Photo: Stockfresh

National Napping Day Activities

1. Take a nap

This might seem obvious but with our busy schedules sometimes we ignore the things our bodies need, like rest. The best way to enjoy this holiday is to get comfy and rest. Close the curtains, set your phone to silent, snuggle up in your favorite pj’s, and relax.

2. Set up a sleeping playlist

Sometimes even though we want to relax or fall asleep we just can’t seem to turn our brains off. Setting up a calm music playlist can help your brain relax and make it easier to fall asleep. This is a great way to unwind and discover new music.

3. Turn off your phone

This is the hardest one I know! But when we’re distracted by what's going on on our phones it's hard to get our body and brain to be relaxed enough to fall asleep. If you can’t bear to turn it off then set it to silent and try to get a quick 20-minute nap in.

Facts About Naps

Decreases Heart-Related Deaths

Sleep can help us regulate our heart rate, which in turn may reduce the risk of heart-related deaths and diseases.

Improves Short-term Alertness

There have been many studies indicating an increase in people’s awareness and alertness following even a very brief 20-minute sleep.

Americans are Sleep Deprived

According to the CDC, 1 in 3 adults in America is not getting enough rest. That’s a lot of sleep people are missing out on!

National Napping Day: Why, When & How to Celebrate - Bizarre Holidays
Photo: CBS News

Improves Performance

Being more awake and alert could lead to increased performance, in general. People should experience a boost in energy, which may lead to more productivity and higher quality work.

It's Common in Ancient Rome

Naps have long been important staples in some cultures. The ancient Romans considered dozing off after meals to be an integral part of life, with some physicians even prescribing naps to patients.

Humans are The Only Mammals to Plan/Delay Naps

Obviously, human beings are in need of some impromptu shuteye, yet we are the most likely species to put off resting when they need to. This, of course, is at least partially due to jobs, school, and other daily responsibilities.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Studies indicate that midday snoozing may lower blood pressure, which some believe lowers overall heart health incidents by up to 10 percent. Longer naps are said to have higher benefits.

Most Mammals Nap

Napping is natural with some estimates claiming over 85 percent of mammals partake in the practice. The primates logging the most sleep time generally achieve double the number of hours as human beings.

Is Napping Good?

Much of the evidence we have been able to gather on the subject point to a resounding yes. Dozing off can increase productivity and awareness while simultaneously lowering blood pressure and improving heart health. Other benefits some have noticed are an increase in mood, energy, creativity with a decrease in stress-related symptoms, as cited by Sleep Advisor.

If you don’t already take some time out of your day to catch a few winks, you’ve now got some solid reasons to start. If you already do value the benefits of some extra shuteye, share the joys of a quick snooze with a friend in the dedication to this worthy cause.

Napping may improve both brain and heart health in a variety of ways and has been known to increase productivity and creativity. People often report a boost in energy and mood after just 20 minutes of snoozing. If anything, it’s just a great way to welcome Daylight Savings Time.

For more interesting information about plenty of weird and bizarre holidays, check out KnowInsiders' website!

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