Tropic lover that I am, laid-back lifestyle that I crave and all the writing and talking about missing the Tropics, I have NEVER been one for a SIESTA. Don’t get me wrong, I could lie down after lunch every day while living in Curaçao. Catch up with reading, the news or just rest, sleeping was something else. I never could, and if by chance fatigue overtook me….I woke up in such a mood, you wouldn’t want to talk to me….
My sister Laura, who always lived in Latin America is a firm believer in the power nap. She swears by it and is convinced it gives you a second wind in the middle of the day. I never agreed and couldn’t understand how she could do it. Slowly I have come to believe she is right and I am now a believer!!! Of course, more than just words were needed….I needed proof. Read everything I could about napping. This was the clincher: in a study conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, doctors have discovered that:
The 10-minute nap produced immediate improvements in all outcome measures (including sleep latency, subjective sleepiness, fatigue, vigor, and cognitive performance), with some of these benefits maintained for as long as 155 minutes.
It doesn’t need to be long, it doesn’t need to be a complex process. All you need is ten minutes of restful sleep! What a concept. I was going to try it. There are also the benefits of taking a siesta. Napping can restore alertness and prevent burnout; it can improve your creativity and helps keep your heart healthy. Now those are perfect reasons, don’t you agree? For me it is also important that it helps you have a clear mind in the afternoons!!!
You must not forget that there have been great people throughout history that took siestas: from Leonardo da Vinci to Napoleon, from Eleanor Roosevelt to Winston Churchill, John D. Rockefeller and at least three Presidents of the USA: John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Ronald Reagan. So you’ll be in good company.
With all this knowledge, I started lying down and closing my eyes, trying to sleep. At the beginning, it was difficult. Napping involves more than just giving in and letting go. In my case, age more that anything has come to my aid. When we aged…did I say that?... we just know who we are, what we want and where we want to be. It is liberating and wonderful. I realized I have nothing to prove to anyone; there is no sense of urgency about chores and I know I can complete what I have to. I accepted this and Siesta has become part of my life. You should try it too!!!