If February 29th is your birthday, then you are surely gearing up to throw four years' worth of birthday excitement into one party. If you've been holding out for your chance to ask your man to marry you, then today may find you drunk on love as he agrees to marriage (hopefully). If you're an optimist, you may see the 29th of February 2016 simply as a great big bonus - an 'extra day for living'.
However, there are definitely mixed feelings around Leap years. Time and again, folk around the world have rallied to get today recognised as a public holiday, with no success. There view is that today is really a day of unpaid work and as such want either the day off or to be remunerated for their extra day's work.
If you feel unkindly towards this day, the you may have a burning question: 'Is a Leap Year really even necessary?"
The answer is unfortunately... yes.
Keeping time is actually quite a difficult business. Scientists keep track of time by following the earth and sun's movements. But whilst, the Gregorian calendar dictates that one year consists of 365 days, the earth actually takes 365,2422 to get around the sun.
This means that every four years we need to account for all those 0,2422 days and acknowledge that extra 'day' or the extra distance that the sun has traveled. This extra day gets added to February simply because it is the shortest of all the months with only 28 days.
We know that our brains are intimately connected with the earth and its movements (read more about Melatonin and Entrainment) and so it is necessary to keep our calendars in sync with the earth and it's seasons. The good news is that the closer your rhythms are with the earth and sun's, the faster you will fall to sleep and the quicker you will wake up in the mornings.
Now that makes sleep sense!
If you are not staying up celebrating that rare birthday or your new engagement ring, then we hope you get an extra good night's rest.
Happy Leap Year!