Tuesday, February 13, 2007
DEFINITELY NOT SPANISH SCIENTISTS
Definitely non-Spanish scientists have finally 'discovered' what has never been concealed -- in fact that practically everybody in Spain, even those doing lab research, have known for the past few thousand years -- to wit, that a nap is good for you: "In countries where mortality from coronary diseases is low, siesta is quite prevalent." Some researchers who managed to stay awake found that people who took long, frequent naps (my favorite kind) had a 34% lower risk of dying from heart disease, which is a plus, than those who pointlessly stayed awake.
When I was in college I didn't need naps most of the time because I was already asleep anyway, since being a creature of the night I slept well beyond nap time, which was only a minor disappointment. Still, I remained an interested amateur. So I didn't realize my full siesta potential until I lived in Spain, where my soporific exercises helped me rise to the Olympian level of afternoon somnolence that I now enjoy on pretty close to a daily basis. When the whole country is filled with Zs and even the labs are closed for siesta, the tendency is to go lie down and close your eyes.
By contrast, here in Japan at the office in the big city, salaried sleep is frowned upon, so I have these wide-open eyes I stick on my glasses for PLS (Post-Lunch Syndrome), which works fine until somebody addresses me personally or I fall out of my chair, which is rare. Otherwise I resort to the less satisfying but more popular Japanese nanonap, in which you fall deeply asleep for less than the blink of an eye several dozen times a day. This is easy at a desk, but sometimes poses problems while driving, though nanonap recovery times are generally quick. As far as world-class napping goes however, like most professionals I prefer to work at home.
It took those scientists so long to find this out, though, that I suspect they might have cots in the lab corners...
Posted by Robert Brady on Tuesday, February 13, 2007