Did you know that humans are the only mammals that can willingly delay sleep? We can postpone it for various amounts of time, but eventually it will catch up to us with interesting results. Whether it’s because of a delayed flight in an airport, an all-nighter spent studying, or a family reunion that runs just a little too long, most of us are familiar with the concept of sleeping in public. Sometimes we just don’t have the sleep we need, or get exhausted by a busy schedule, and the only solution is to catch a few Z’s before continuing our day.
Not much is known about the creator of this day, or when it started, but all we do know is it’s observed February 28. It doesn’t matter though, as sleeping in public is a very common phenomenon. Anyone who spends time in a library, movie theater, mall, or public park has either seen someone sleeping, or been the sleeper themselves. It’s unavoidable, and that’s why the best way to celebrate National Public Sleeping Day is to reduce the risk and impact of public sleeping.
Here are a few handy tips for being a safer and more courteous public sleeper:
- Be courteous. If you snore, or aren’t sure if you do, try to avoid sleeping in areas where it may negatively affect your fellow patrons, like movie theaters or libraries.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Areas very open to the public, especially transportation, can cause your nap to become a much riskier experience, especially if you sleep through your stop or have important possessions on you.
- Consider your own comfort. Sleeping in a bad position can leave you with a sore or sprained neck, back, or shoulders.
- Use buddies! If you’re waiting for a flight delay, or had a long day out, take turns napping so you have a friend or two to keep an eye on your surroundings or notify you of changes in your situation.
- Be self-aware. If you catch yourself falling asleep any time you get a few minutes to sit down, reconsider your current schedule and see how you can work more sleep into it. If you get a good 7-9 hours of sleep a night and still find yourself falling asleep in public, talk to a doctor as this might be a sign of narcolepsy or chronic fatigue.
While it might be frowned upon by some, sleeping in public is an unavoidable phenomenon, and will most likely exist as long as humans do. Just remember to be a courteous and safe public sleeper, and sweet dreams!