The health benefits of a siesta

benefits of a siesta

Travellers are being told of all of the positive health effects a midday siesta could have on their health. 

Sleep experts at have revealed the health benefits of taking an afternoon siesta while on holiday. 

A siesta is an old tradition from Spain which involves taking a short afternoon nap or rest break between 2- 5 pm. 

Siestas are common in countries with warmer climates and were traditionally regarded as a way to escape the heat when shops shut in the middle of the day. 

Although most famously recognised in Spain, it is a common practice in Mediterranean culture and countries including Greece, Italy and Cyprus. 

Aside from being beneficial to escape high temperatures, a siesta has a range of health and mental health benefits. 

Siestas have been proven to improve the brain’s ability to handle stress, regulate emotions, and lower blood pressure. 

Rebecca Swain, an expert at WinstonsBeds said: “A siesta is an afternoon nap common in Spain and other hot Mediterranean countries, and it’s proven to have lots of health benefits. 

“A short afternoon nap can reduce stress levels and improve general cognitive performance, but it is important to avoid sleeping over 30 minutes or it could have the opposite effect. 

“Those planning a summer holiday should consider taking a siesta to rejuvenate them for the rest of the day and escape the hottest part of the afternoon. 

“We’ve shared some of the benefits of a siesta so jet setters can reap the benefits while on their summer getaway.”


Benefits of a siesta:

  1. Cognitive performance

A siesta has been proven to help with the mental process of understanding, knowing and learning. For example, a short nap can improve the brain’s ability to consolidate memories, be more productive and creative, and facilitate being more alert and aware. 

  1. Mental Health

Siestas and short naps are linked to improved moods and reduced stress, and are generally seen as being good for the mind. Reduced feelings of stress can contribute to a better feeling of wellness, and help with regulating emotions. 

  1. Sun protection

A short episode of sleep may help to prevent the body from overheating. During high temperatures and heat waves, siestas can help people cope. The nap will help to drop the body temperature, so people can return to the rest of the day more refreshed. It will also protect people from UV radiation when the sun’s rays are strongest, preventing sun damage and burns. 

  1. Physical health 

Research has found napping could reduce blood pressure and strengthen the immune system. It is also said to lower the risk of heart disease and enhance cardiovascular health by alleviating stress and promoting relaxation. This makes a siesta great for people who are more vulnerable, like the elderly.

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