Siesta: An afternoon nap is part of happiness like eating or drinking

Unforget the lunchtime hours in the shady apartment in Rome after walking all morning in the heated city. Finally rest, finally lie down, maybe even sleep a little. Time to dream and switch off.

In the early evening the spirits are awakened again and the adventure city vacation continues. Or on the beach: in the morning you can enjoy the glistening light of the sun on your skin – and in the early afternoon you go to the cool house and rest while the curtain gently blows in the wind.

This tiredness comes over you almost automatically on long journeys, everywhere you see people dozing, on the train, on the bus, at the airport, leaning their heads against the window, leaning on a bag or falling on their chest.

No matter where, no matter when: everyone needs a break during the day. A place to be alone, to sink into oneself, to come to oneself. That could be on a ship, where the waves lapping in your ears make you dawn.

A little retreat from everyday life: many people like to doze on the train

Source: picture alliance / dpa / Protina Pharmazeutische GmbH

But it can also be in a big city, sitting in a small, hidden place on the steps of a church, listening to your own breath, standing on the wall in the Mediterranean village in the shadow of the alleys or at the top of a mountain that you have just climbed.

Home office because of Corona offers an advantage

There is a melodious name for this longing: Siesta. It occurs in all cultures, age groups and climate zones. The afternoon nap is a human happiness, an anthropological constant like eating and drinking. The word “refueling” is heard again and again as an explanation for the siesta, but it doesn’t fit, you are not a machine whose batteries are charged with electricity from the socket.

Even in the pictures of the old masters, people are lying on their backs with their legs apart, think of Pieter Bruegel the Elder – one of the most beautiful locations. The Russian fictional character Oblomov, written in 1859, also preferred the sofa. Not only adults, but also children like to doze extensively after they have spent themselves moving and exploring.

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Above all, it is the self-employed, students, teachers, researchers, artists and retirees who are said to have sovereignty over their time. Even in everyday life, not just on vacation, you can take breaks as you wish. Can you give your life a special rhythm, time its very own order?

The normal working person is not so good at this, after all, working hours set the pace. In this respect, the Corona time offers people who are currently working in the home office an advantage: You can sleep for minutes over the laptop because nobody sees it.

Gather strength during the siesta

The dozen philosophy also explains why so many people lie on meadows or on the banks of rivers in summer. They rest, withdraw, close their eyes for a while, but not to deny themselves to life and others.

But to collect strength, to collect yourself. Or to think, for example after visiting a museum that demands all your senses and attention. Those who do not like to retreat are looking for the lonely corner, the exit from the roaring life, in order to understand and master everything first.

Personally, I’ve become a master of the nap over the years. Wherever I stand or lie, I need this idle time to restore my integrity. I doze, therefore I am.

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WELT AM SONNTAG from December 27, 2020



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