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Daytime Naps

14-07-2011

In the Anglo-American West, day naps are not that usual for adults and in fact have been frowned upon for quite a long time. However, for most of the world, having a nap during the day is totally normal and not having one is seen as unusual. The siesta as it is commonly called in Spanish speaking countries, is usually taken during the heat of the day following lunch.

The siesta is built into the social fabric of many countries around the world and scientists are beginning to realise that rather than a historical oddity, the midday nap has actually got some rather beneficial features. After the midday meal people will actually experience an increase in lethargy and tiredness and having a short sleep can actually increase acuity and energy for the rest of the day.

The key is to ensure that the nap is no longer than about forty minutes. Any longer and you will fall into a deeper sleep, meaning that you need to go through the full sleep cycle for any recuperative effects. A twenty minute nap is optimal as you will wake before the body begins to enter the long cycle of sleep. A twenty minute nap will leave you feeling more spritely and energised.


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