In the early 2000s, after an increasing cultural and economic pressure to abandon the biphasic sleep practice in Greece, a team of researchers from Harvard University’s School of Public Health began quantifying the consequences. The researchers took a sample of more than 23,000 Greek adults, men and women, aged between 20 and 83 years old, who had suffered from a sudden, radical change in schedule, tracking the group’s cardiovascular health over six years. The result was a true Greek tragedy.
Although none of the individuals had a history of coronary heart disease or stroke at the start of the study, those who abandoned the siesta went on to suffer a 37% increased risk of death from heart disease across the six-year period. The effect was significantly more substantial in proletariat workingmen, who saw their mortality risk increase by well over 60% after abandoning the mid-afternoon nap.
Of course, other factors such as a healthy diet with little sugar and processed food, and daily access to good air quality contribute to this remarkable longevity. But, before we begin a mass exodus to southern Europe and northern Africa, we can make an instant change in our lives by taking at least 30 minutes in the middle of the day to put everything away, lie down, and close our eyes.
The shift is beginning. Companies such as Google, Facebook, Uber, and Ben & Jerry’s offer their employees sleep pods and nap rooms in the office and a time in the middle of the day to take a break to nap. Clearly, they want their workforce to live longer. It also probably makes the recruiting team’s job much easier.
Maybe now is the perfect time to have a chat with your boss about your work-life balance. Keep us updated 🙂
Last thing… Why did the tree take a nap? For-rest 🤣
For more incredibly satisfying nap puns, click here.