I grew up listening and learning sayings uttered by my grandmother. Around this time of the year she used to say something similar to this: you can have a nap from the first of May to the middle of September. You can imagine it sounding better in Spanish, however it is easy to understand the message: during these months you can go to bed and have a longer nap.

My friends from other countries think that having a nap is a common practice in Spain; even more, it is difficult for them to understand its usefulness until they come to visit me on July. Then they realize that it is better to stay at home after having lunch than wondering around in the scorching sun. Besides, it allows you to rest up before taking advantage of the enjoyable night life.

Regarding how long a nap should be, there are different opinions but the most accepted one says it must be brief. A short nap after lunch can boost your energy without affecting your sleep at night. In Spain we have an expression to name those naps taken before lunch, they are called ?siesta del carnero?.

Each family has their own habits; my grandmother used to take a nap after lunch, lying in bed between three and four in the afternoon only from May to September. During this time silence had to be respected, and making noises was not allowed. I also enjoy having naps, longer in summer than in winter, and especially pleasant are those on Saturdays and Sundays with a movie on the TV providing background sound.

Naps are not an old fashioned habit or a characteristic of lazy people. On the contrary, scientific studies show their pros and benefits, and in support of this are many companies who encourage this practice to make their employees more productive. Apart from this rational point of view, napping might be a magical moment as can be seen illustrated in some of these pictures.

Dear reader, do you usually take a nap? Are your habits different in winter and summer? Do you think that it is a habit for lazy people?

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