Tuesday, February 13, 2007

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Bring back the siesta!!

A little more than a year ago I mourned the slow disappearance of the siesta from Spain:

[I]t seems hard to dispute the notion that the siesta is a thoroughly inefficient way of inserting break times into the working day. So the economist in me accepts this as wise policy.

At the same time, the Burkean conservative in me mourns a loss. The siesta is such a lovely conceit for lazy people like myself -- who have a strong belief in the restorative and stimulating powers of the long lunch -- that it will be hard to imagine its disappearance from its country of origin.

It turns out there may be another negative externality associated with eliminating the siesta -- according to Stephen Smith of the Boston Globe:
In a study released yesterday, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and in Athens reported that Greeks who took regular 30-minute siestas were 37 percent less likely to die of heart disease over a six-year period than those who never napped. The scientists tracked more than 23,000 adults, finding that the benefits of napping were most pronounced for working men.

Researchers have long recognized that Mediterranean adults die of heart disease at a rate lower than Americans and Northern Europeans. Diets rich in olive oil and other heart-healthy foods have received some of the credit, but scientists have been intrigued by the potential role of napping.

The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, concluded that napping was more likely than diet or physical activity to lower the incidence of heart attacks and other life-ending heart ailments.

Still, the authors cautioned that further research is needed to confirm their findings.

Well, confirm them, for Pete's sake!

posted by Dan on 02.13.07 at 08:28 AM


"confirm them, for Pete's sake! "

They would, but they're, y'know, napping.


posted by: Doug on 02.13.07 at 08:28 AM [permalink]

Air conditioning getting that commonplace?

posted by: Lord on 02.13.07 at 08:28 AM [permalink]

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