In most parts of the Western world, mid-day naps or siesta is frowned upon or not customary. For the people from the East side, it is actually a common practice especially among children. Yes, sleep is beneficial not only for the body but more importantly for the mind. But taking a power nap during daytime has a handful of benefits no one could and must not afford to miss.
Mid-day napping became a popular practice in the East most especially in warm regions. It has been scientifically proven that warm weather brings about lethargic feeling. In addition, having a heavy meal at lunch time also contributes to the drowsiness one feels.
An afternoon nap usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour. Any nap longer may result to deep sleep which is rather difficult to awaken from. After taking a power nap in daytime, people reported to have felt way better and they stayed alert during the rest of the afternoon up to evening. However, mid-day naps can make people sleep later in the evening thus having lesser night time sleep hours. But it helps people catch up with missed sleep especially for those who have sleeping problems. On the contrary, people diagnosed to have insomnia are not suggested to have afternoon naps as these may worsen the case.
Power napping during the day gives us a huge advantage. Since the body grows tired about eight hours from the moment we wake up, mid-day napping replenishes the body’s energy and makes it alert for physical as well as cognitive processes for the rest of the day. Just a few minutes of nap would be for our good, and even just seconds of closing our eyes. It rests our bodies and minds for a while. It is a proven effective stress-buster. More mid-day naps mean improved alertness, more efficient cognitive learning, more patience, a lot less stress, better reaction time, more efficiency and overall a better health.
“In summer, after his midday meal, he would eat some fruit and take another drink; then he would remove his shoes and undress completely, just as he did at night, and rest for two or three hours.” Even the great Roman Emperor Charlemagne was a fan of power naps as mentioned in Einherd’s Life of Charlemagne. Since the word siesta which means a short nap taken in the afternoon is a Spanish word, mid-day napping has been a usual practice in Spain and its colonies like the Philippines, it is really taken from the Latin phrase “hora sexta” which literally translates to the sixth hour. If you count from sunrise, the sixth hour is midday which is concerned with midday napping.
Siesta is an indirect help to protect the skin from the scorching heat when the sun is at its peak since people would be under their roofs sleeping. Moreover, aside from increased productivity and overall physical and mental wellness, it is also proven to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
At the end of the day, it has been ascertained that sleeping is always a good idea- even for just a few minutes whatever time of the day.