10 Feb, 2009 @ 10:22
1 min read

Spain wakes up from its archetypal slumber


SiestaSurvey shows that only 40 per cent of Spaniards are still taking a siesta

“IT is little more than a myth that is interesting from a tourism point of view.”

That is the opinion of a sleep expert after a survey claims that almost 60 per cent of Spaniards never take an afternoon nap.

The study by the government discovered that of the 40 per cent that do take a nap only 28 per cent choose to do so in bed.

The study also found that men older than 45 are the ones more likely to take the traditional siesta tucked up in bed rather than on the sofa.

“We need to start debunking this myth that every Spaniard takes a nap,” said FUNDEPS president, María Sáinz. “Today only a few people nod off after lunch,”

The research also surveyed the population’s sleep patterns, and the results show that only 68 per cent wake up in the morning feeling well-rested.

Some 18 per cent of those questioned said they normally feel tired and listless first thing in the morning, while 13 per cent had muscle cramps.

There were variations between the different regions of Spain, however. Galicians are the most restful, while those from La Rioja and Murcia had the highest numbers of restless residents.

Only 53 per cent of Madrileños said they feel energetic when they wake in the morning.


  1. I’m not surprised that many Spanish do not enjoy a good night’s sleep – just look at the abysmal construction that is the norm for this country.

    We see young Spanish children playing in the streets at up to 2AM in the summer.

    This is not a case of bad parenting but just dealing with the reality of bad building – what do I mean. Simply that the the mean summer temperature in our 12 year old apartment block is 83F – now how can a child sleep in this intense heat.

    It is only from about 3AM that the temperature drops and drops quite dramatically and by 8AM is on the rise again.

    That is why many of our Spanish friends urged us to look at buying a cave house simply because they have a steady internal temperature of around 18C.

    Indeed the eye surgeon who performed the cataract ops for me told me, from mid June until mid September he moves into the old cave house which is just behind his modern home.

    Spanish architects are well aware that what they design would never be tolerated in northern Europe.

    The very worse thing that you can do with an apartment block is to include balconies and why – steel is a great conductor of heat and what does a balcony have, why lots of of re-inforcing steel – otherwise it would fall down.

    So in summer it draws in the heat and in winter the cold. Have you noticed that these idiots build central heating pipes into the outside walls and these walls are built using rubbish cement blocks which have zero insulation value.

    As to the so called double glazing – it’s a joke. 6mm between the glass, if it was 20mm it would be something. Most properties are built using sliding panel window construction instead of casement construction. This is just plain crazy. You don’t know what I mean, wait till you get a windy day and put your hand near to where the glass panels meet and feel the breeze.

    Just ask a Spanish architect what the average ‘U value’ of his designs are – he either won’t have a clue or will refuse to answer you.

    If the Spanish built their apartment blocks to the same standard but not the same design as in Norway, you could guarantee a good night’s sleep.This will never happen.

  2. Stuart hits the nail right squarely on the head, again. The Spanish could not build their way out of a paper bag! They are totally ignorant about proper building practices and they are obstinate to boot.

    A little story for you. When our Spanish “builder” put in a water pump for our deposito, he put it and the electrics below the water table. Guess what happened when it rained? Doh. Then when it flooded and blew its circuitry he refused to fix it, blaming the problem on the electrician, totally refusing to believe the pump was now broken at all and that his work was useless! I suggested to him that we could put a separate independent supply, that we know that worked, to the pump to rule out electrical problems.

    When this was done and he was proven to be the total imbecile I already knew him to be, he just stormed off in a total rage and never returned. We sued the idiot in the end; everything was under guarantee and we got it all replaced, but with a proper (German) builder/plumber. As my properly qualified German builder said, the Spanish never plan ahead when they build. They just bodge it and leave.

    The motto of this story is – never use a Spanish person to build anything if you can help it. Their work speaks for itself – just look around.

  3. Fred says “the Spanish never plan ahead when they build. They just bodge it and leave.”

    I say that that is a big generalisation based on his stereotyping of Spanish people. Our Spanish builder did a great job for us and the Spanish plumber we use is second to none, turns up when he says he will, does a professional job and charges a fraction of what the English and German plumbers charge around here.

    There are good and bad workmen in every nationality.

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