Siesta In Cabo

If you're taking a vacation to Los Cabos, you’re probably planning a siesta or two. And why not? In today's high-tech, non-stop digital world we’re constantly bombarded with all kinds of data. We all need a break and a mid-day siesta is a perfect way to recharge and relax while on vacation.

While the tradition of the Siesta varies from place to place it is still observed to some extent in Los Cabos. The tradition of napping actually dates back thousands of years with modern siestas originating in Spain. The name comes from the Latin “hora sexta”, which literally means "the sixth hour." Since the hours of the day used to begin at dawn, the sixth hour is noon and this is when siestas often begin.

Spain’s influence as a global trendsetter made siestas a common practice in Spanish-speaking nations around the world. Siestas typically occur in hot climates, allowing people to sleep through the hottest part of the day and avoid the sun’s strong midday rays.

While the siesta is now considered a luxury, it was once thought to be a physical necessity, since it is important for people in hot climates to have a quick afternoon rest to restore their energy levels. It’s believed that Spain introduced the siesta centuries ago to provide their farmers with a time to rest during peak temperatures.

You won’t find many people taking a siesta in a big city, like Mexico City. You may however find siestas are more common in rural or vacation destinations. No matter the reason, taking a siesta in Cabo is a tradition practiced widely from place to place. Depending on the location and local culture, some professional businesses will close for a few hours each afternoon and some will stay open. Banks, large department stores and government offices usually stay open all day. Smaller businesses, like your local accountant or restaurant owner may choose to close. Art galleries, retail stores and pharmacies all vary in their hours of operation. It’s always good to check a local businesses’ hours to see if they include a mid-day break.

There are also variations in the way people choose to siesta. Some workers trying to avoid the heat will lay on a blanket under a shade tree. When no tree is available any shade will do like a building, umbrella or the bed of your truck. You can certainly siesta in a bed if you’re in a home or staying with friends. Or, if you prefer a real challenge, you can try and take a siesta in a hammock.

Hammocks are widely found in Los Cabos, and while similar to those found in some backyards in the US they are much stronger and more comfortable. Most people prefer hammocks to beds because of the extreme heat and lack of air conditioning. However, please be warned: you must enter a hammock butt-first. Chances are if you just try to jump in you’ll find yourself on the floor. So when getting into a hammock your butt is the advantage - and the bigger the butt the bigger the advantage because if you have a big butt you have more leverage. You can insert your favorite butt song here, but just remember to Back That Ass Up when getting into a hammock! The rest of your body will feel much better not having fallen on the ground while trying to take a siesta!

From a medical perspective, there appears to be some support for the idea that people all over the world - not just those in warm climates - should take a siesta and rest for a short time in the afternoon to revive their energy levels.

Many experts believe humans are "biphasic" and therefore need two periods of sleep each day: a long uninterrupted period at night and a much shorter one during the day. Unlike most other mammals that nap, many people try to make it through every day without a nap. In Cabo, this is no bueno!

However as most adults can agree, early afternoon often brings with it a drop in energy and productivity. During this ‘afternoon’ part of the day, it can be hard to concentrate and get things done. A short nap often restores alertness and concentration, allowing us to be more productive the rest of the day.

If you decide to take a siesta, the question is - how long should you nap? Although traditional Spanish siestas can last more than two hours to avoid the heat, most experts believe a short 10- to 20-minute nap is enough to improve health and productivity.

Of course, if you don't get enough sleep at night, you'll need an afternoon nap even more. Trying to “catch up" on sleep is not a good pattern to get started, so it's best to get sufficient rest each night. Napping will not make up for serious sleep deficiencies over time.

With more people spending more time in modern air-conditioned offices, there is less need for a siesta to avoid the heat of midday. As a result, many Spanish businesses are taking siestas less and less as they try to observe a work schedule more like the rest of Europe & the US.

Many Spanish people still look forward to the daily siesta. Although many don't actually sleep during this time they do enjoy a break from work to spend time with family and friends over the course of a leisurely meal. Even without sleeping, this break from routine serves to refresh them so they can finish the day strong.

Although the siesta is still popular today, it has evolved over time. In regions like Northern Spain, Southern Argentina, and Chile, where the heat isn’t as stifling, physical brakes aren’t as needed, so the siesta is often a time for people to break up their work day and go home to enjoy time with family and friends—and not always take a nap. Instead, people will have a leisurely family lunch. Regardless of how people spend it, the siesta is one of the most embraced Spanish traditions and a common practice in Cabo.

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