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September 22, 2017

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Nations should consider a 'National Siesta Day'

The drive for development somehow made every minute precious and anyone who wanted to take a short nap would be considered lazy.

If you so much as try and catch 40 winks at work, you had better be prepared to face the music.

Five years ago, in 2006, siesta advocates in the UK managed to get the country to declare June 25 as National Siesta Day.

On that day, bosses were told to turn a blind eye to their workers when they took a short nap after lunch. In fact, they were encouraged to do likewise.

According to the advocates, a short 10-20 minute nap in the middle of a working day can increase productivity by over 30 percent and alertness by 100 percent as well as improve memory and concentration. They also claim that it can reduce stress and the risk of heart disease by 34 percent.

And for good measure, they cited a number of famous people who napped. Bill Clinton napped while he was president to help him cope with the pressures of office. So did Margaret Thatcher.

Napoleon apparently napped between battles while sitting on his horse. And Churchill maintained that he had to nap in order to cope with his wartime responsibilities.

Unfortunately, National Siesta Day was a short-lived experiment and was called off in 2009 after medical research showed that there is an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes with those people who nap than those who do not.

Let's admit it. We all do feel a bit tired after lunch. More so the high-powered lunches where a sumptuous spread is laid out. Without fail, as we head back to work, we will say something like, "Aiyoh, how to work after this? Ate too much. It would be nice if I could take a nap!"

I wonder if anyone is brave enough to promote a National Siesta Day in Malaysia. I am sure we have our fair share of famous Malaysians who have been caught napping on the job.

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