Health and MedicineHealthy tipsThe nap: benefits, how long it should last and contraindications

The nap: benefits, how long it should last and contraindications

Siesta is one of the pleasures of life, highly recommended in every way, especially for its properties and benefits. But sometimes it can last a long time or be contraindicated.


The custom of siesta is deeply rooted in our country; it is not in vain, this custom is very old.

The origin of the word is found in the so-called “sixth hour” by the Romans (exactly between 2 and 4 p.m.), and for example it was a custom of resting after eating and then managing to face the rest of what remains. Of the day with better vitality and humor.

Not surprisingly, Camilla José Celia came to baptize it as the “Iberian yoga“, since the siesta has the reputation of being an authentic invention “made in Spain”.

The siesta is considered one of those little pleasures of life, especially recommended in every way for its clear benefits for the health of the people who “practice” it, but even about it they plan a series of doubts and interesting questions that are good to note.

Some secrets about the siesta…

  • Giving the brain a short break after a meal is very positive, especially because it increases the ability to solve problems, stimulating creativity, imagination and intuition.
  • According to data offered by the General Directorate of Traffic, in the year 2000 there were some 35,000 accidents with victims due to drowsiness of the drivers.
    In these cases, the nap is an ally, since it reactivates the state of concentration and alertness.
  • In Córdoba (Spain), an official siesta time was decreed, given that between 3 and 5 p.m. sound levels could not exceed 55 decibels, thus being the appropriate time for siesta.
  • It is an essential habit for children, especially because it calms them down and helps them to be rested, which will prevent them from arriving at seven in the afternoon restless and irritated.

Most important benefits of napping

  • Relieves tensions, in addition to relaxing.
  • Helps to rest and clear the mind.
  • Increases creative capacity, intuition, imagination, and the ability to solve problems.
  • It prevents aging and lengthens life, given that, according to some studies, its repairing effect is capable of fighting free radicals.
  • It is good for maintaining a healthy and natural beauty, since it helps us to reflect light and freshness.
  • It is also positive for maintaining good mental health, especially because it helps us stay positive and in a good mood.
  • Reduces the risk of heart attack.
  • Increases performance, eliminating both physical and mental fatigue.
  • Fight anxiety and stress.
  • Causes a feeling of well-being.

How much sleep is necessary during the siesta?

Even if you think otherwise, the most recommended nap, in order to enjoy all its benefits, is the one that ranges between 10 minutes and 1 hour, although a short nap of 15 to 20 minutes added to eight hours of sleep is ideal for enjoy all its benefits.

How long should the nap last?

Although it is always best to leave 10 or 15 minutes after eating to go to bed, experts recommend that the nap last no more than half an hour.

This is because if the 30 minutes are exceeded, the person enters the REM phase, a much deeper stage of sleep in which waking up is not easy, and which then causes you to feel much more exhausted and tired.

Main contraindications of the nap

Mainly people who have insomnia problems, and especially who cannot sleep easily at night, should avoid taking a nap. This is because if they sleep more they could make it difficult to solve their problem, as stated by many experts in this regard.

It would also not be recommended for those people who tend to have problems with sleep-wake cycles. In this sense, especially for those people who have rotating shift at work, or who work at night.

In any case, in this last aspect, the nap could be recommended, but it is not recommended that it last more than 15 minutes.


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