Of all the free pleasures out there for the taking, the nap is the easiest and the most satisfying. Traditionally taken at noon or the sixth hour – hence the word siesta – in order to sleep through the visits of the noonday demons, the post-lunch doze is an everyday reality for those living in less work-obsessed countries. It’s a criminal shame that in Northern Europe and the States naps must be taken secretly and guiltily, after all, they are the most natural thing in the world. It is crazy to work for eight hours or more at a stretch without any sleep. We should take a pillow wherever we go. We need to find corners for dozing, in the church or in the park. A nap every day will do the work of a million vitamin supplements and energy capsules. Gentle, sweet, care-charming sleep, medicine for the weary soul!
From The Book of Idle Pleasures, Ed Dan Kieran and Tom Hodgkinson (Ebury Press)
Illustrations by Ged Wells