One of the secrets is the siesta.
After doing a siesta you feel like new, and the body requires it often. When I was a little girl, I had to do the siesta and that was not always pleasant, but now I see it as a perfect invention.

What is the siesta?

It is a habit to sleep shortly after lunch. It helps to regulate body temperature.

Who does the siesta?

Not only in Spain but also in most countries of southern Europe and Latin America people sleep in the afternoon. Even in countries like Taiwan, the Philippines, India, the Middle East, North Africa and China is a kind of siesta. In China the right to do siesta enshrined in the constitution. Many people have a rest in the office by letting the head resting on the arms on the desk.
The journal Neurology says that 22% of Germans, 16% of Italians and 15% of Britons do the siesta at least three times a week. The Spaniards take by 8% the fourth place, it seems that myths change with time.


The word siesta is derived from the Latin sexta [hora] (“the sixth [h]”): the Romans counted their hours from sunrise. The sixth hour was thus to them midday.

Why the siesta?

The reason for this is a biological explanation. After the noon meal, often very abundant in Spain, descends a large part of the nervous system to the blood of the digestive system which causes drowsiness. It is also around this time in the afternoon, especially in summer, very hot, and even the animals go to their dens and sleep.


It is shown that the siesta is very healthy. It improves general health and blood circulation and prevents stress. It also promotes the memory and the mechanism of learning. The brains must process daily information. It’s like cleaning up a table to continue to keep working and this is done during sleep. In addition, the short rest allows you to withstand the workday longer without getting sleep.

Tips for the perfect siesta

* Short siesta. Sufficient time is 20-30 minutes. It is important not to get in the deep sleep, because that leads to brains mechanisms that function makes us more slowly and also the night-time sleep can be more difficult.
* Do a siesta with open window or outside in the shade, good to have oxygen.
* Better sitting than lying. So the siesta will not be too long.

Granted that the siesta does not really fit into our modern life, even for the Spanish people, because changing work schedules. But on holidays or in weekends it is a perfect choice.

Do you do the siesta? What do you think?

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Illustration/ Photos: Ángeles Nieto


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