National Napping Day is an unofficial observance that takes place on the day after Daylight Savings Time starts. It is a day meant to make up for the one hour of sleep that people lose due to the time change.
History of National Napping Day
In 1999, William Anthony PhD, a professor and researcher at Boston University, together with his wife Camille Anthony, realized how sleep-deprived people were after the clocks changed with Daylight Savings. They set out to create a day that would highlight the health benefits of a quick nap in the afternoon, in order to increase productivity and happiness.
Although not an official holiday recognized by the US Government’s calendar, many people honor this day by having a quick nap in the afternoon, and it has gained popularity in recent years due to social media, with #NationalNappingDay often trending on social media, and people sharing National Napping Day memes and images.
Napping in Culture
Many Mediterranean countries such as Spain and Italy have long realized the benefits of a quick siesta or riposo. In these cultures, people have been taking quick naps post-lunch for several years and acknowledging their many benefits.
The afternoon is actually the perfect day for a quick nap, as it is the hottest part of the day, and productivity is usually lower due to that, so it is the perfect time for a short break. It also falls right in the middle of the wake cycle and the sleep cycle, which is ideal for the body to regain its rhythm.
The Benefits of Napping
Napping has been proved to increase productivity and alertness levels, which means that it makes the brain work better. Several large companies such as Google encourage their employees to take naps during the day as it actually helps them work better for the rest of the day. It is estimated that companies lose millions of dollars a year due to employees being overworked and tired, thus not doing the best work that they could.
It also significantly helps with cognitive ability, as naps help improve memory and logical reasoning. This is why so many advise people to take naps during studying breaks, as they help the brain retain the information acquired.
Naps also help make you happier and less frustrated, enabling people to deal with problems in a calmer manner.
Healthwise, napping reduces the risk of heart disease by 37%.
Finally, it is known that most mammals take naps during the day, so why not humans?
How to celebrate National Napping Day?
The best way to celebrate this day is by honoring William and Camille Anthony’s wishes and have a nap! Find a cozy spot and reap all the benefits of a quick sleep.