“El mito de la siesta española ha quedado desterrado, ya que sólo un 16 por ciento de la población de este país practica esta sana costumbre a diario.”
These are the findings of a study carried out amongst over 3,000 Spaniards aged over 18 for the Fundación de Educación para la Salud del Hospital Clínico San Carlos (Fundadeps) and la Asociación Española de la Cama (Asocama). It has revealed that the ‘deporte nacional’ is fast dying out except amongst tourists and we, the foreign residents.
The siesta is one of the international stereotypes of Spain along with bull fighting, flamenco dresses and castanets. However you only have to think of today’s life style to wonder were the afternoon nap or sleep would fit in for the vast majority of Spanish people.
Back to the study, of the 16 per cent who do have a siesta the majority (72 per cent) only have a light nap after lunch whereas 27 per cent confess to going to their bed for the traditional and enviable siesta “con pijama, Padrenuestro y orinal”.
The research also shows that 58.6 per cent of Spaniards never siesta, 22 per cent only on occasions and 3.2 per cent sleep after meals, but only at weekends.
The siesta is one of the most important parts of the day largely for men aged over 45 – but there is little surprise in the next finding – it is women who have the most difficulty in finding the time to sleep in the afternoons.
Well as a male aged over 45 I can promise you that I will have a siesta this afternoon but will be up again in good time to see Xerez play Celta Vigo on TV. Nessun Dorma? ¡Dormiré como una piedra!