The fireworks, cookouts, alcohol and blazing temperatures… do the midweek celebrations have a positive or negative effect on our mental health, sleep and headaches? This year’s fourth of July was the first time in 5 years that the holiday landed on a Wednesday. An unscientific poll was taken by the Huffington Post to see if people liked the idea of marking the 4th mid-week. The verdict seemed to be split, with many saying they liked the idea of two mini “Fridays” during the workweek, and others disliking it, feeling unfocused, and anxious due to two “Sunday” nights within the week.
Steven Myers, a psychology professor at Roosevelt University in Chicago believes there are positives and negatives to the 4th landing on a Wednesday. “When you have a holiday such as the 4th, people generally stay up late, but they still have to get up the next morning at the same time. That means that there is typically less sleep after a mid-week, one day holiday vacation.” Even one less hour of usual sleep may affect moods, job performance, and of course headaches the next day. So what are the positives to a free day mid-week? “People’s moods are oftentimes buoyed when they’re looking forward to enjoyable activities” says Myers. The residual effects of a fun and relaxing day can stay with us long after the day is over. And, the one day respite can actually supply us with a refreshed perspective, in or out of the work environment. So, it seems to be a mixed bag in terms of “quality of life” issues. Of course, if you are able to take the day after the 4th off, the benefits most likely would override the negatives! The Huffington Post July 5, 1012