There is a national sport here in Spain that everybody loves, it is what we call Spanish siesta, or as Americans say POWER NAP.
The origin of the word siesta comes from the sixth hour of the ancient Roman calendar, they called it “sextum” and it marked the middle of the day. It was the moment when the sun was at its highest peak and the temperature was the highest in the day. During the sextum hour nobody would work.
In the middle ages servants would work in the fields from sunrise till sunset. Those were twelve hours working days. As you can imagine neither humans, nor animals could work nonstop for so many hours, so the Lords made a law saying that in order for their servants to be more productive in the afternoons, they had to rest for one hour in the middle of the day.
What about today? Is siesta still as popular?
The answer is no. According to a 2017 survey made by research company Simple Lógica only an 18% of Spaniards do siesta regularly. They also found out that 60% has never taken a nap. I guess that according to our working hours it is very difficult to stop in the middle of the day. Personally, I almost never do siesta. I must say that in the summer if I am on holiday I do, and I love it!
The perfect nap
Here are some tips in case you want to master the perfect Spanish siesta:
–Dress code: loosen up your belt, take off your shoes and cover your stomach. It should always be covered. The reason for the stomach issue is because you are doing your digestion and your body needs extra heat to digest.
– Duration: the perfect siesta should never be over 20 minutes. If you go further than this time, you will go into a deep sleep and you will need at least a 2-hour sleep. Trust me, you will regret it when you wake up, you will feel miserable. So, set your alarm clock in 25 minutes, this will give you 5 minutes to fall asleep and 20 minutes of perfect disconnection.
–Location: the bed is always the best place, but under a tree or at the beach can work as well. The important thing is that children or any other relatives don´t bother you. In fact, I always say that Siesta should be done alone, you know what I mean…?
Well my friend, I think I am going to put in practice righ now all the knowledge I have shared with you.
See you in 20 minutes!
Me encanta la foto del gato
Great article and with lots of history and advices… awesome as always
I always set an alarm and yes, for 20 minutes–even 10 will work. It’s an old custom in parts of the American South–especially where summers are hot.
If I do siesta with 10 minutes, you are right it is enough. It is like a reset of the brain!
I love it too