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A call to all Americans: Why we should — nay, must! — adopt Spain's siesta

Spain's prime minister is calling for an end to siestas. Here's why he can't do that — and why America should adopt the routine.
/ Source: TODAY

Today, we are all napping Spaniards.

Americans, our friends across the pond need us. They're being tried and tested, and it's up to us to take a stand. We should — nay, we must — band together. We must fight the good fight.


*Deep breath.*

Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy wants to put an end to siestas.

No more siestas? The *nerve.*Shutterstock

For the uninitiated few, a Spanish "siesta" is the two- to three-hour lunch break taken at 2 p.m. What people do in said break is up to them, of course, but they generally use it to catch a few zzz's. The workday begins around 10 a.m., and after the break, everyone works until around 8 p.m. (Dinner isn't until 9 or 10.)

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Some believe the whole thing simply has to do with staying out of the intense heat that plagues the country around lunchtime. See that? Practicality and sleep.

But Rajoy doesn't seem to care about any of that.

“I will find a consensus to make sure the working day ends at 6 p.m.,” he said, according to NBC News (likely followed by a villainous cackle, though that detail remains unconfirmed).

And because depriving his loyal countrymen of their afternoon nap time wasn't enough to (quite literally) keep him up at night, Rajoy added that he'd like to turn the clocks back an hour, too.

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(Okay, to his credit, there's some backstory here about how a former Spanish leader aligned Spain's time zone with Germany's in 1942 to show solidarity and nobody ever thought to change it back. But still, talk about taking the "joy" out of "Rajoy," Rajoy.)

Why are we, thousands of miles away, so invested in the peculiar-if-enviable routine of Spain's citizens, you ask?

Because an attack on anyone's nap time is an attack on our nap time. Never send to know for whom the alarm clock tolls, America. It tolls for thee.

This is what we imagine Spain to be like.Shutterstock

The way I see it, not only should Rajoy allow this sacred tradition to continue, but we, the United States of America, should implement the three-hour lunch break, too.

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That's right: I hereby propose the implementation of an American siesta. Like all things American, it would be bigger, better and more sleep-filled. It'd probably have a flashier, more Hollywood-friendly name, too, like SuperNap or McSleep. After all, how can we be expected to dream the American dream without, you know, dreaming?

Plus, science says sleep's good for you. And not just sleep, but siesta-style sleep specifically. Researchers have reported that naps may provide certain health benefits, with one study finding that those who took naps were significantly less likely to die of heart disease.

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Believe it or not, the idea of an American siesta isn't actually that far-fetched. Nap rooms are becoming more common in offices across the country: Huffington Post founder and president Arianna Huffington is a big believer in workplace napping, for one.

“Sleep makes us more productive, creative, less stressed and much healthier and happier,’’ she told TODAY. “Even a 20-minute nap in the middle of the day can make a huge difference. I grew up thinking that if you work around the clock, you are going to be more effective, and I realize that is not true.’’

Therefore, I beseech you: Let's join together to create our very own mandatory siesta/SuperNap. We will all be better for it.

In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Spain.

Sweet dreams, and Godspeed.