One man’s negative portrayal is sometimes another man’s ambition. Most of us are familiar with the symbolic sleeping Mexican, sitting with knees bent into his chest, under a tree or in the shade, and a tilted sombrero pulled over his head. Is this symbolic Mexican figure a negative or positive cultural representation?
My friend, who is Mexican, is highly offended by this sleeping Mexican symbol, as he feels that it portrays Mexicans as lazy. However, a mid-day nap is an integral part of the daily routine of many global cultures around the world, particularly those nearest to the equator. Personally, I think that the sleeping Mexican symbol portrays not only Mexican’s as being brilliant (intelligent), but also, Italians, Spaniards, Latin Americans and other cultures that embrace a resting period during the heat of the day. This suggests that napping is a mechanism to get us out of the hot mid-day sun. These naps are generally 15-30 minutes in length. Unfortunately, for Western cultures with a “Time is money mentality; nap-time is prime-time to get work done.”
A Few Cultures Which Embrace a Form of Siesta
China Greece India Latin America Mexico
North Africa Philippines Portugal Spain Taiwan
I am all for implementing siesta, but also fiesta! There is nothing wrong with napping and celebrating. Any comments welcome below.
Research Supports the Benefits of Napping!
Power Nap, Prevents Burnout; Morning Sleep Perfects a Skill!
Evidence is mounting that sleep—even a nap—appears to enhance information processing and learning. New experiments by NIMH grantee Alan Hobson, M.D., Robert Stickgold, Ph.D., and colleagues at Harvard University show that a midday snooze reverses information overload and that a 20 percent overnight improvement in learning a motor skill is largely traceable to a late stage of sleep that some early risers might be missing. Overall, their studies suggest that the brain uses a night's sleep to consolidate the memories of habits, actions and skills learned during the day.
Check out Justin Good’s Squidoo website called Power Sleep for more information. For example, Justin lists stats from the National Sleep Foundation (NSF).
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) reports that:
The average adult sleeps under 7 hours a night during a work week.
33% of adults surveyed sleep only 61/2 hours nightly.
40% of adults admit that the quality of their work suffers when they're sleepy.
68% say their ability to concentrate is diminished by sleepiness.
19% report making mistakes and errors due to sleepiness.
Sleepy drivers cause approximately 100,000 car crashes annually.
33% of adults surveyed would nap at work, if allowed.
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