Siesta, Breaking the Stereotype

Most of our first knowledge about Spain was based on few words: Siesta, Fiesta, Corrida (Bullfight), Flamenco, Paella and Jamón Serrano (Spanish Ham). However, have you ever thought to stop and really check if those are really a key descriptions of Spain and Spaniards? This blog post will be dedicated to discuss the question if Spanish Siesta is really existing.

What is Siesta

Siesta is a Spanish word for a nap taken during the day, normally after lunch during the afternoon.  The habit is more likely among the elderly people or is more commonly seen during summer time. The habit originally started in order to avoid the high temperatures of the day and extend social life till the cooler late evenings and nights.

True about Siesta

Now let’s see what is true about Siesta. Such thing as afternoon nap really still exist especially in small villages . Also, if you go shopping during the middle of the day you might be surprised that some of the shops (ex. Fruterias, Opticas, Panaderias) are closed. Siesta is normally between 2 pm and 5 pm so if you are planning to get your small shopping done during that time, you might be left with nothing.  In those cases the tip would be to choose big shopping centres or not so local shops to make your midday shopping a success!

False about Siesta

Siesta is not so common as you may think. Nowadays, employed Spanish population does not take Siesta. According to the study made in 2009, 58.6% of Spanish population never take Siesta, 22% do it sometimes, 3.2 % take it during the weekends and only 16.2% are napping daily. Actually Americans are bigger nappers than Spanish people 34% over 33%.

Three-hour siestas simply do not exist! Those Spaniards who still do take Siesta normally do it only for half an hour. Rest of the middle day break they use to deal with the pendent things since most of them work until late evening. Thus, if you think that you will be able to have a little Siesta during the middle of the day at work you should get rid of those dreams!
Now is your turn to let us know your experience about siesta or if you haven’t experienced it express your opinion in the comments below.

Read more about studies of Siesta:

-Fundadeps (2009): “Estudio sobre Salud y Descanso” 

-Pew research Center: Social & Demographic Trends (2009): Nap Time

Thanks messageb



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