A siesta is a short nap taken in the early afternoon, often after the midday meal. It is the traditional daytime sleep of Spain and through Spanish influence, the Philippines, and many Hispanic American countries.
The siesta is historically common throughout the Mediterranean and Southern Europe and Mainland China. It is the traditional daytime sleep of Spain and, through Spanish influence, the Philippines, and many Hispanic American countries.
The Spanish word siesta derives originally from the Latin word hora sexta "sixth hour" (counting from dawn, hence midday rest).
Factors explaining the geographical distribution of the modern siesta are high temperatures and heavy intake of food at the midday meal. Combined, these two factors contribute to the feeling of post-lunch drowsiness. In many countries that practice the siesta, the heat can be unbearable in the early afternoon, making a midday break at home welcome.
In modern Spain, the midday nap during the working week has largely been abandoned among the adult working population. According to a 2009 survey, 16.2 percent of Spaniards polled claimed to take a nap "daily", whereas 22 percent did so "sometimes", 3.2 percent "weekends only" and the remainder, 58.6 percent, "never". The share of those who claimed to have a nap daily had diminished by 7 percent compared to a previous poll in 1998. Nearly three-fourths of those who take siesta claimed to do so on the sofa rather than on the bed. The habit is more likely among the elderly or during summer holidays in order to avoid the high temperatures of the day and extend social life till the cooler late evenings and nights.