Siesta in the Heat: Why It Makes Sense

By Shannon Gurnee
In Holiday Fun
July 24, 2023

Today, on Redhead Mom, I’m sharing a partnered guest post about siesta in the heat and why it makes sense.

siestaImage source

In Spain, far from everyone takes a break for hours at siesta. Nevertheless, the basic idea of a midday rest gives ideas for a daily routine adapted to high temperatures. In Spain, people are more relaxed, it is often said. Every day, they leave their work in the middle of the day to take a siesta and play the safest online casino – the traditional midday rest. Stores are then closed between about 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., the construction workers inside disappear from the streets, in the offices the screens are dark and the phones are silent.

A study has now debunked the siesta in the sense of the supposedly long midday nap as a modern myth: only 18 percent of Spaniards regularly take a nap after lunch. But the basic idea behind a prolonged nap seems understandable: If the heat is too great, productivity suffers.


Because of the warm temperatures, the daily rhythm in many southern European countries is a little different than in Germany. Outdoor activities take place mainly in the early morning hours or late in the evening, when it is cooler. During the siesta, people rest. This traditional division of the day has its origins in the south of the country, where it gets so hot towards the afternoon that farmers used to be unable to work during this time and therefore went home for a break.

The siesta was therefore originally by no means a lazy slumber, but an urgently needed escape from the oppressive heat of the summer afternoon.

Since there are now fewer farmers and many buildings are equipped with air conditioning, the siesta has also lost its importance in Spain. Meanwhile, only a fraction of Spanish workers return home for a midday rest.


Yet it has been found that a short nap during the day can have a positive effect on learning and performance: Researchers found a correlation between a regular daytime nap and greater overall brain volume. This could indicate that habitual napping offers some protection against neurodegeneration (which can result in dementia, for example) by compensating for poor sleep.Β 

In another study, subjects who napped for an hour after lunch performed better on learning tests than those who stayed awake all afternoon.Β 

Even though very few people actually lie down to sleep during a siesta, the concept can be used to derive ideas about how to make daily routines healthier in the face of heat and high levels of UV radiation and ozone in the summer. After all, these extreme weather events can have negative consequences for health and productivity:Β 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, heat causes us to lose concentration, making us more prone to mistakes and accidents and less productive. In addition, extremely high temperatures pose health risks such as dehydration, heat stroke and exhaustion. By the way, the greatest heat of the day usually doesn’t fall right around lunchtime – another myth. The highest temperatures are often measured between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. To avoid heat-related health issues, having a central air conditioning installation in your home is recommended. If you already have an air conditioning installation, have it serviced by an ac repairs technician to keep your ac unit energy-efficient and avoid sudden breakdowns.

Around noon, however, UV radiation is usually at its strongest. A high UV index means that unprotected skin can get sunburned more quickly.Β 

Between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., ozone levels are at their highest, according to the German Federal Environment Agency. Ozone is a trace gas and the main component of so-called “summer smog”: a mixture of pollutants that forms during intense sunlight and can have harmful effects on humans, animals and the environment.


It’s probably not going to be possible for you to take a siesta during a prolonged period of heat from midday, when UV radiation is strongest, to the evening, when the heat is highest. But you can try to plan your daily tasks and activities so that you don’t get too much exposure.

That is, do work and activities that take place outside, preferably in the early morning or late evening, when temperatures, UV radiation and ozone levels are lower. Midday and afternoon, on the other hand, are suitable for things you can do indoors.

About Has 2212 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of Redhead Mom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

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