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Sleep is good

Mike Harkins | Thursday, September 23, 2004

I awoke from my slumber at the right time during a lecture the other day, as the professor made an earth-shaking declaration about the human species – human beings are actually made to sleep twice a day.

Okay, maybe not so earth-shaking, but I found this to be quite intriguing, and as I began to daydream once again (if you are my professor reading this, I promise I pay attention for most of the class), I started think what it would be like if everyone included this second sleep period in their daily schedule.

Obviously college students do this all the time – go to bed late, wake up for class and then take a little two-hour nap afterwards. But once we graduate we probably will not have this luxury anymore.

Why does it have to be that way though?

Why can’t we just decide that we’re all going to sleep for a couple hours in the middle of the day?

I don’t know anyone that would be against that idea.

There are societies in this world where this tradition is followed. Although it may seem silly to some in our hard-working, industrial culture, several cultures around the world allow for an afternoon nap.

Spain, Mexico and Italy all find it all right to take a nap in the daytime.

It would be nice if we could learn a thing from these nations and incorporate siestas into our own daily routine. It isn’t like other societies just came up with the idea a few years ago. It is human nature, and these nations have found ways to be successful without eliminating any accomodation for those who fit their second sleep period into their schedules.

Unfortunately, our nation is surely too industrialized to consider making siestas a popular thing anytime soon.

And so we must treasure these days of college, these days when you can sleep until 11:00, go to your 12:30 class, and take a nice three-hour nap in the afternoon, because before you know it you’ll be working in some office for 12 straight hours from sunrise to sunset wishing you could sleep the way you do now.

Maybe it is just my lack of sleep this week and the fact that I am writing this column at 12:30 a.m. without even starting my homework yet that I would think so much about sleep.

But it is a nice thought. So if you’ve read this far and my column hasn’t bored you to death just yet, feel free to go reward yourself with a nap, and don’t feel bad about it – it’s only normal.