Siesta, A Restful Pause In Need
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Siesta, A Restful Pause In Need
  • 강서미
  • 승인 2003.10.01 00:00
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The greatest challenge of the day may lie after lunchtime. Drowsiness overwhelms us; the struggle to keep our eyelids up is almost painful. Ewhaians can be spotted catching a few winks in front of the university bookstore or in the student lounge. We call these resting moments in the day, naps or siestas.
According to The World Nap Organization, there is a 34 percent increase in productivity after a 40-minute nap. Despite this fact, 38.4 percent of nappers are found to feel guilty about napping, largely due to the tendency of our culture to associate naps with lethargy, laziness or senility.
Background research on some prominent people in history may restore your confidence about napping. Sir Winston Churchill, Napoleon Bonaparte, and the infamous Benito Mussolini were religious nap takers. And it seems almost unnecessary to mention that in Spain, Mexico, and Greece it is customary to temporarily close all businesses between noon and 4 p.m. for a siesta. Finally, science may also come to your aid.
Mark Rosekind, a former NASA scientist and founder of Alertness Solutions, demonstrates that humans have an internal timekeeper that biologically programs us to get sleepy from 3 to 5 p.m. and from 3 a.m. and 5 a.m.
Let us look at how some university students cope with sleepiness that comes when Morpheus pays them a visit.
As students have the autonomy to manipulate their schedules, some students manage to leave a free period for lunch time, allocating time to doze off for a few minutes. However, not many are so fortunate. How do students in class at the time of the peak of sleepiness sustain themselves? Some do not. "I just let my sleep carry me away," says Kwon Min-a (Division of International Studies, 2). Others prop themselves up in their own ways. Jang Yoo-sun (Education Technology, 3) daydreams or lets amusing thoughts pop up as the professor lectures. Oh Hye-jin (Natural Sciences, 2) says, "Immobility is what stones you. The best continuous movement you can make in a class to awaken yourself is scribbling away."
Others either reduce the amount they eat or simply hold the hunger until after classes finish for the day. Many also make a stop at the coffee machine, or drink tea high in caffeine as they do in Britain. However, Rosekind argues that contrary to the general belief, it is not the digestion of the meal that brings us drowsiness, but the break that our biological clock takes every 12 hours.
The Mayo Clinic provides tips for nappers: Keep it short, a half-hour at most; longer than that, and your body wants to sleep till morning. And it"s best to take your nap about the same time each day; even if you cannot nap, just lie down and let your mind rest.
neyessioui@ewha.ac.kr

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