What time is it? Es hora de una Siesta.
It is indeed.
The Spanish take power naps everyday after their afternoon meals. They call these power naps ‘Siestas‘ and they might actually be onto something…
I don’t know about you, but personally my energy levels throughout the day go like this:
Pretty high in the morning.
Pretty low in the afternoon.
Pretty high in the evening.
And I got this off of Google Images by searching ‘energy levels throughout the day graph’- So I can’t be the only one.
In fact, I’m not the only one.
This is actually a common phenomenon known as ‘That 2 o’clock feeling’.
This mid-day fatigue is a result of our bodies producing a load of melatonin (a sleep inducing hormone) from around 2pm-4pm.
As a result, we usually decide to fight through this battle period by one of the following options: a) will power alone, b) a caffeine hit, or c) we don’t fight it at all… We take a Siesta!
“Non-resistance is the key to the greatest power in the universe”- Eckhart Tolle
Letting go of fighting this tiredness and unleashing the power of the so-rightly named ‘Power Nap’.
But there’s more…
Not only do Siestas or Power Naps increase your energy, they come with a tonne of health benefits too!
Including the following:
- Improves cognitive performance (due to higher alertness and readiness to deal with intense stimuli).
- Boosts learning and creativity (when we sleep, this is when we make and improve neural connections and pathways).
- Reduces stress levels (napping reduces the levels of corisol – stress hormone – in our system).
- Puts you in a better mood (boosting levels of feel-good hormones like serotonin and endorphins).
- Improved skin (due to decreased stress, and improved mood).
- Speeds up muscle recovery (your body is put in an anabolic state when asleep, meaning more time for muscle recovery and gain).
I know what you’re thinking,
“It’s hard! How do I find time slap-bang in the middle of the day for sleeping!?”
And obviously, you’ve got a point. For most, mid-day power napping would be less of a daydream and more of a nightmare…
1 hour lunch break: Run home from work (-10 minutes). Hit the sack (-20 minutes). fix hair (-10 minutes). Eat lunch (-10 minutes). Run back to work (-10 minutes).
See! it’s do-able…
For those of you who can’t power nap, it’s best to avoid napping and get a solid sleeping routine down which stays (roughly) the same on the weekends. This will maximise sleep effectiveness because your body will get into a rhythm of the same sleeping pattern.
Similarly, if you can nap, it’s best to make it a daily routine so your body knows to nap, at that particular time, every day (2pm recommended for the most benefits).
If you are one of the selected few who can Siesta, take advantage of it.
You’d be loco not to.
What are your opinions/experiences on napping? On the Spanish Siesta?