What Difference a Siesta Could Make to You
A siesta has existed for many thousands of years; traditionally in Spain a siesta can last up to two hours to avoid the hottest part of the day. The Spanish regard a siesta as a physical necessity rather than a luxury.
Nearly all executives experience tiredness twice throughout a 24-hour cycle. Ideally, we all need two periods of sleep throughout the day, a longer period (night time) and a shorter one (throughout the day). The crash in energy levels is sufficient to affect concentration and thought patterns. By having a short nap or integrating a siesta we can all help ourselves by being more productive and reducing the risk of heart disease. A 10-20 minute nap is needed to restore concentration, alertness and productivity compared to a siesta where those benefits are extended.
Even famous people have done it:-
- Bill Clinton napped daily as President to cope with the pressures of office
- Winston Churchill would often nap to cope with the responsibilities of war
- Albert Einstein would nap daily to help him think clearer
An afternoon nap does not help someone that is suffering from sleep deprivation but is in addition to a good night’s sleep and has beneficial effects for the mind.
You might be thinking it is all very well to recommend a siesta but practically it’s impossible, and potentially it’s misconduct to be found sleeping at work. However, most of us are entitled to a lunch and sufficient rest breaks, so why not convert part of this time into a mini-siesta?
In Japan, one of the hardest working nations in the world, employee's are provided with pillows and napping rooms to deal with the pressures of work - you could call that a mini-siesta.
A siesta can result in less stress, improved alertness and memory, improved cardiovascular function, restored energy levels and most of all, a cost-effective way to combat burnout.
If you want to be more productive and have an abundance of energy think about developing a siesta into your working schedule. You could use that time to catch up on sleep and choose the things that help your mind relax such as a gym session, yoga, meditation, or just a walk at the local park.
Connect with me for tips on ‘how to get a good night’s sleep’.
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Adam Strong is a personal trainer. He specialises in combating burnout and depression using a 12-step methodology through cutting edge and innovative methods to maximize fat loss, motivation and energy levels. He is known for achieving peak performance and professional excellence leaving city executives re-energized and inspired.