There are those who to take a nap put on pajamas and go to bed and there are those who simply close their eyes for a few minutes wherever they are caught. There are those who avoid naps because afterwards they feel worse or who are not a person if they do not do it. And to this we can add the recurring question when talking about it: Is the siesta a lazy thing or, on the contrary, should we all do it to function better? Experts, as always, answer that it depends, because although wanting to sleep after eating responds to a need of the body, it is also true that not everyone feels this need.
From the Dr. Estivill’s Sleep Clinic They comment that «in 24 hours a day the brain has two moments in which it needs to sleep, the first is the one that goes between 10-11-12 at night and ends around 6-7-8 in the morning, this is what we call the greatest period of sleep, but we also have another small need to sleep which is approximately 8 hours after we wake up, this is what we call the nap «. Therefore, these experts recommend it because afterwards we have a better performance, both physical and mental. And, in fact, some companies are betting on ensuring the well-being of their employees by recognizing the benefits of napping at work.
So let’s see what to keep in mind to take a nap 10:
It is scientifically studied and proven that the nap has to be short to be restorative so we should not achieve a very deep sleep. It is a superficial sleep of about 15-20 minutes, 30 at the most, as advised by the American National Sleep Foundation. Longer naps can affect our sleep at night.
Naps should never be understood as a substitute for the hours that we have not slept at night. Not even a 3-hour nap can eliminate the negative effects of having little sleep the night before, such as bad mood, being more irritable or lack of concentration. So you have to get the seven or eight hours of sleep a day that are recommended for adults (nine in the case of adolescents).
The siesta is recommended for those who need it, that is, for those who feel sleepy after lunch. In addition, if it is difficult for a person to recover, and after a nap, it takes more than 15 minutes to get in shape or he wakes up in a bad mood, better to skip the nap.
Better if we take a nap in a comfortable place and with a body position that allows us to relax. So, it is bad to fall asleep anywhere on or on the computer keyboard.
As we mentioned at the beginning, the nap responds to a daily cycle in which we feel the need to sleep 8 hours after getting up. That said, it is convenient to respect this schedule and do not nap too early or too late since it can affect our circadian rhythm.
- We will be able to disconnect faster by using mask and earplugs to isolate ourselves from light and noise.
- Better to set the mobile alarm or the alarm clock at 30 minutes and thus we make sure not to sleep more than recommended.
- Once awake, it is better to get up or sit up so that we do not go back to sleep.
- Some experts recommend having a coffee before the nap to combine the effect of both and thus wake up more alert and operative.
Siesta, one of the most universal Spanish words
The siesta was invented by the Romans, who had the day scheduled in time groups of three hours: the prime, the third, the sixth, the ninth, etc. The sixth corresponded to the noon hour that ranged from 12 to 15 hours. and that was when he would stop to eat and rest a bit. This break was called ‘the sixth’, a word that led to the siesta.
Many languages - English, French, Russian, Italian, Polish, Hungarian, Czech, Finnish, … – use this word to indicate the short sleep period after the midday meal.