Siesta: Is This Cultural Sleeping Habit Healthy?

14th October , 2020

Nothing is as good as having a mid-afternoon nap, and a good short nap on a high-quality mattress has many benefits to it. According to the American Heart Association, and a Harvard study, taking a nap contributes to increased alertness, better mood, improved memory, creative thinking, and productivity. 

Surprisingly, naps, especially in the mid-afternoon, are considered a cultural tradition, especially in countries near the Mediterranean and southern Europe – calling it a Siesta. 

What is Siesta?

Siesta is a short nap usually taken after lunch or during mid-afternoons, from 1 pm to 3 pm. Its etymology can be traced back from the Latin word hora sexta, meaning the sixth hour. This implies resting in the midday, usually just after-noon, or at the sixth hour of the day. The practice is still common today in Italy, China, Nigeria, and Hispanic countries, including the Philippines and Mexico. 

There have been many debates about whether or not siestas bring in health benefits. However, according to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, this short nap has proven to alleviate stress symptoms and improve the immune system. Therefore, instead of asking whether or not taking a siesta is healthy, the real question is how you make the most out of it?

Napping Smart 

If you’re going to give siesta a try, then it’s only essential that you do it right- it’s not as simple as taking it every time you feel like having a nap. It should be well thought out and prepared well. Several science articles from sleep.org and Harvard health suggest that the best time to take a nap is just before 3 PM, as taking naps during late afternoons may disrupt your sleep cycle. 

You should be able to take a nap comfortably in the right environment – a cool, quiet place free of distractions and sounds, and most importantly, on a comfortable mattress. And as for how long, it is best to keep the nap quick and between 20-30 minutes as waking up suddenly from a deep sleep can make you feel confused and disoriented. 

Finally, if you plan on drinking coffee after your siesta, it is advised to have it right before taking a nap. This will make caffeine more effective as it requires some time to get activated in the body. Its effects will likely kick in the moment you wake up from your siesta as you’ll be able to feel more energized and attentive. 

The Best Mattress For The Best Nap

Supplement your siestas by having a memory foam mattress to sleep comfortably on. This type of mattress should be able to help you get the most out of an afternoon nap. Memory foam mattresses are perfect for proper body support, diffusing pressure points, and providing you with a comfortable sleep so you won’t wake up from a siesta with back or shoulder pains. 

Whether it’s an orthopedic mattress or a foam mattress you prefer, our experts at Magniflex can help you find the best match for your needs.

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