We Could All Use a Nap

Thanks to the blog from Max at GoNomad, I found a Time Magazine article about a company that is doing well marketing “napping pods” in the U.S.

I just returned from another trip to Latin America, where siesta time is a fixture of the day, at least outside the urban cores. Is it any coincidence that the people there are less stressed, that they spend more time cultivating relationships, and that they don’t need to fill their medicine cabinet with as many drugs? Heck, they can even have a glass of wine with lunch and not worry about nodding off at their desk.

It just seems so much more civilized and natural to take a break in the afternoon (especially during the summer), snooze or read for a while, then return to work with some energy. Instead we all slog through the afternoon, half-alert or hyped up on caffeine, and get home feeling drained.

The article says, “Longer commutes, midnight e-mails and a global economy that requires work over many time zones have made a solid eight hours of sleep as rare as a three-martini lunch. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep deprivation costs U.S. business more than $100 billion a year in lost productivity and damage to workers’ health and safety.”

I have a theory that part of the reason so many Americans and Europeans move to Spain and Latin America is because they feel more relaxed there. The stress washes away and the pace becomes more in tune with our bodies’ rhythms. I believe one of the reasons people get depressed after returning from a round-the-world trip is similar: most of the world naps, but you return to a culture where you are expected to run full speed all day.

If it takes a napping pod to make a siesta more acceptable, then bring it on!

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