If you’ve ever traveled to Spain, Italy, Greece, or Mexico, you’ll find that after lunch, generally between the hours of 2-4 PM, business slows down in retail shopping areas. People take siestas.
A siesta is defined as an afternoon nap, and in many cultures around the world, especially in warm weather ones, an afternoon nap after lunch is part of the everyday routine.
Originating thousands of years ago to give people in Spain, Greece, Italy, the Philippines and China, respite during the hottest parts of the day to restore their energy levels, napping is a time-honored tradition. While the siesta has evolved over time, napping has many benefits that can apply to today’s rushed culture of America.
With the business world seemingly now on a 24/7 time clock, and emails, texts, ZOOM meetings, and digital streams downloading endlessly, it is vital for our brains and bodies to take a pause to refresh in order to function well. And guess what—a nap it just what doctors are ordering.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the American Heart Association, Sleep.org, and many other sources, there are significant benefits to napping in midafternoon for adults. Napping can:
- Boost your immune system
- Improve your memory
- Improve your daytime alertness
- Help you learn new skills
- Improve your physical stamina
- Boost night time alertness
- Lower your stress
- Lift your mood
- Help you avert mistakes and injuries
- Bolster your creativity
- Help you fight food cravings
- Increase your judgment
- Flush toxins from your brain
- Help your heart
- Prevent mental burnout
- Can help you avoid diabetes
- Can help you avoid dementia
- Is good for your skin
Need I list more reasons? There are more. However, the foundation for most of the reasons stem from napping’s ability to help work against sleep deprivation.
Sleep is one of the most powerful and important things we can do for our health as it restores and repairs our brains and bodies. In our society today, most adults are not getting the recommended 7-9 hours of consistent sleep each night.
Insomnia is rampant, especially with COVID and other economic and other challenges facing the country every day. So, it is becoming even more critical that we get enough sleep within each 24 hour period that we can.