Top tips for taking the perfect Spanish siesta
Multiple scientific studies in recent years have proven that a short sleep after lunch provides health benefits, including stress reduction, and improves alertness and memory.
Every Spaniard knows the advantage of retreating to a cool dark room during the hottest hours of a summer afternoon for a quick 40 winks.
So for those that can find the time, here is The Local’s guide to taking the perfect afternoon snooze.
Make it a habit
A siesta is only beneficial if it forms part of the regular daily routine rather than a one-off. Once you get into the habit of a postprandial nap it forms part of the natural cycle of the body and missing it could be worse for one’s health than skipping a meal.
Make it short
Sleep too long and the effects could be detrimental, according to various sleep experts. Research undertaken found that the optimum length of a nap is 26 minutes and that when a 26 minute nap is taken during their working hours, efficiency increased by 34 per cent.
Find a quiet dark corner
Both noise and light can disrupt the ability to fall asleep easily so limit
distractions by pulling down the blinds or use an eye shade and blocking out street sounds with earplugs or white noise.
Settle in a comfy chair
Siestas should take place on a sofa or in a comfortable armchair and not in bed, where one is more likely to fall into a deep sleep. If you do fall into a deep sleep it is much harder to wake up and you will likely be left feeling groggy for hours.
Have a pre-nap cup of coffee
For double revival coordinate a caffeine boost along with your nap. Caffeine takes about 20-30 minutes to take effect, so drinking a cup of coffee before getting in a bit of shut-eye means it’ll just be kicking in as you are waking up.
Set an alarm
If you don’t want to risk drifting into a sleep cycle that could leave you drowsy then always set an alarm.
Don’t feel guilty
Scientific research has shown time and again that siestas are good for you. So don’t guilt yourself out of a free and natural health benefit because of a long to do list. Remember you will be much more efficient and focused if you recharge your batteries.
HAVE A GOOD SIESTA