Sleep escapes many people throughout the night so if you need a little shut-eye today, even while in public, it’s totally fine because it’s National Public Sleeping Day, on February 28. Yes, if you feel like you’re going to nod off on that park bench or at the beach, no one will think poorly of you. It’s actually what we are all called to do today, so grab a pillow and be prepared for that magical moment when you can doze off in public.
History of National Public Sleeping Day
Almost one-third of Americans are getting less than six hours of sleep per night. Considering the recommended number of hours of sleep we should get each night is eight hours, we’re talking about some serious sleep deprivation for a fairly large percentage of people.
While no one has claimed to be the founder of National Public Sleeping Day, whoever it was, was clearly onto something. Maybe they had seen so many of their fellow Americans asleep in public, they felt we all needed to be given a free pass for just one day.
If you take a few moments to think of all the times you’ve fallen asleep in public, you’ll realize it is not at all a rare occurrence! The key for today is preparation. If you want to be an overt public sleeper, a sleeping bag will get the job done. If you are still a little uncomfortable about sleeping in public, you’ll want some sunglasses, a hat, or a newspaper.
Of course, you can always point to this article as your permission to indulge in some public sleeping but in the event that you are at work and your boss walks in while your head is down, let the first word you say be “Amen.”
National Public Sleeping Day timeline
Robert Owen, a social reformer in the early labor movement, campaigns for an eight-hour workday to encourage more hours of sleep.
Barbital is introduced as the first-ever sleeping pill.
The first sleep lab is opened at the University of Chicago by Dr. Nathaniel Kleitman — the founder of sleep research.
Comfortable beds are critically important to the hotel industry — in 2005, over $1.4 billion is spent on mattresses in the U.S.
National Public Sleeping Day FAQs
Is there a national Sleeping Day?
World Sleep Day is observed annually on the Friday before the March Equinox.
Is sleeping during the day good?
Sneaking in some Zs during the day is linked to a long list of benefits, like a better memory, reduced fatigue, and improved mood.
How long is a power nap?
The ideal power nap should be between 10 to 20 minutes.
National Public Sleeping Day Activities
Host a public group nap
Invite a few friends to celebrate the true spirit of today’s holiday by enjoying a group nap. Grab some blankets, sleeping bags, and pillows (don’t forget the bug spray) and sprawl out in a beautiful public park to catch some Zs.
Make a list
Once you start thinking about it, you’ll likely realize you’ve slept in quite a few public places. Of course, anyone on an airplane, train, or bus could easily check off a public nap. Airports, movie theaters, schools, churches, and shopping malls are also likely spots for a little public shut-eye. Where else have you found yourself fast asleep amongst strangers? Post your list on your social channels today and learn about your friends’ escapades.
Stash an emergency kit in your car
You never know when you may need to pull over for a quick nap when on a long car ride. It’s a good idea to have a pillow and blanket at the ready in your trunk for such occasions so take some time today to stock your car with napping essentials. Eye masks are a plus.
5 Ways To Improve Your Sleep
Foods to avoid
Avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol and stay away from nicotine as well — these things inhibit peaceful sleep by interfering with deep REM sleep.
Adding exercise into your daily routine promotes restful sleep — it's best to work out at least 5–6 hours before going to bed.
Set a schedule
Establishing a routine sleep cycle is one of the most important things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep.
Relax before bed
Engaging in relaxing activities immediately before bedtime enhances the quality of sleep — try a warm bath, foot massage, light stretching, or listening to soothing music.
If all else fails, have something to do when you can’t sleep — instead of lying awake with racing thoughts, read or journal — these activities will get your mind redirected and ready for sleep.
Why We Love National Public Sleeping Day
It’s a free pass for a nap
Indeed, some people don’t need an excuse to take a nap at any point during the week but there are those of us who never seem to find the time for even a short one during the day. National Public Sleeping Day allows everyone to catch some guilt-free Zs, preferably somewhere in public!
It raises awareness for better sleep
As we consider the craziest places we have slept or would like to sleep in public, now is a good time to check in on the quality of our sleep. This holiday definitely provides the forum for learning how to achieve more restful sleep.
It allows us to reset our minds
One of the most important benefits of a good night’s sleep is the ability of our bodies and minds to recharge and rejuvenate. When you find the perfect public spot to rest your eyes, your mind and body will follow suit in resting and resetting.
National Public Sleeping Day dates