Wednesday, February 15, 2006


I will institute a mandatory daily siesta period.

A siesta is a short nap taken in the early afternoon, often after the midday meal. Such a period of sleep is a common tradition in hot countries. The word siesta is Spanish, from the Latin HORA SEXTA - "the sixth hour" (counting from dawn, therefore noon, hence "midday rest").

It's the same story every day: I get in my car to drive home after a full day at school and as soon as my ass hits that car seat, I want nothing more than to crawl into bed. Seven years teaching and this feeling has not lessened. My body has not "adapted" to getting up at the ungodly hour of 5:21 and turning on the juice for 50 kids at 7:00AM P.C. (that's Pre-Coffee, my friends).

Recently, I've been giving in all too often. Sacking out for an hour in the middle of the day, when the rest of the workforce is in full-swing, keeping the world running smoothly. I wake up feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and full of shame, promising that tomorrow I will make it through the day without a snooze. I know it's an evil cycle and I'm only feeding the habit.

But perhaps I should not feel guilty for my 3:00PM "crash" and subsequent nap. There has to be some sort of validity to this whole Circadian rhythm stuff. Could entire nations of people be wrong? Granted they're mainly South American countries -- they tend to be laid back folk. But India and China too? Could such a large chunk of Asia be considered lazy?

I think we'd all be a little better off for hauling out the nap-mats. Perhaps the world might be a better place.


Loki said...

Perhaps most of us are taking siestas and no one knows...

At an old job I had, there was a lady who would use her lunch break to nap. Granted, she was a senior citizen. But I think perhaps she had such a long career because she found that rhythm you're talking about.

As for the rest of us... there's at least the possibility that more time is spent unconscious (maybe just not horizontal) than we'd like to admit!

Good idea to institute the siesta. When you were in elementary school, did you have a teacher who would tell the class to "put your heads down" when the class got out of control? You'd fold your arms on the desk and lie down for a while on your desk, for maybe 15 minutes?

Wouldn't it be great if adults had to do that too sometimes?

"These TPS reports do not have the cover sheet. OK people, put your heads down."

portuguesa nova said...

Oh man...While in college I studied abroad in the one big Spanish city that still genuinely enforces the siesta, was HEAVENLY. Not only do you get to leave work, come home, eat, take a nap...but then you go back to work for a few hours with all sorts of renewed energy and you can stay out quite late at night and just hang out. it is a fabulous fabulous way of life.

Total crap for commerce.

But fabulous.