Summertime afternoon naps are now a legal requirement in Spanish town of Ador.
Since siestas are common in southern European countries including Spain, a mayor in Valencia has enshrined his citizen’s right to take an afternoon snooze in a law. The official edict designates the hours between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. for the people living and working in the town to take a break from their routines and get some shut-eye.
Mayor Joan Faus Vitoria apparently introduced the official nap time – the first of its kind to be implemented in the country – as a way for field workers and manual laborers to take a break at a point in the day when temperatures reach their peak.
To put the law into practice, the officials have instructed parents to keep their children indoors during naptime. Even tourists are told to keep it down in order to avoid unnecessary noise as siesta time is also meant to bring peace and quiet to the municipality of Ador.
"Children should stay indoors between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. so that they do not go outside and play with balls and disturb older people," stated the town hall spokesman, adding that the long-held tradition of afternoon nap stems from town’s agricultural history.
“Many people here work in the countryside, so it’s very usual to take a long lunch break and have a siesta after eating,” the spokesman said.
Vitoria has also asked employers to respect the siesta law by giving their employees some time off to catch up with their sleep.
Bars, shops and restaurants will be closed during the hours and locals who choose not to get some shut eye aren't allowed to carry out work that may cause any noise during the siesta time.
However, those who break the law will not face any penalties.
The importance of afternoon naps is scientifically proven. In fact, a recent study from the University of Michigan linked short naps to improved work performance and better immune system.
“Napping may be a beneficial intervention for individuals who are required to stay awake for long period of time by enhancing the ability to persevere through difficult or frustrating tasks,” the study author explained.