Spanish suffer lack of sleep as globalisation ends siesta
"Globalisation is killing Spain's siesta, according to a citizens' advice group. With so many multinational companies operating in the country, business people cannot disappear from their desks for hours, says the Independent Association.
The life-enhancing after-lunch snooze may not be so easily banished, however. Spanish governments have long tried to bring the nation's idiosyncratic hours in line with the rest of Europe. But many Spaniards consider sitting at their desk between 2pm and 4pm ludicrous. That is when serious business is done over lunch. And then, you need some down-time before the rest of the afternoon.
"Few Spaniards take a siesta these days and studies show we sleep about one hour less every day than the average European," says Fernando Buqueras y Bach, the director of the Independent Association. That is dangerous, he adds. Spaniards have high rates of accidents on the road, at home, and in the workplace.
Legend has it that the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V invented the siesta by taking an iron key and retiring to sit on his throne. When his eyelids fell, the key slipped from his fingers and clattered to the floor to wake him, bringing the siesta to an end." - By Elizabeth Nash in Madrid, in Independent