Did you readers outside of Greece see the news reports about a new study showing that napping at least three times per week for at least an half-hour was associated with a significantly decreased risk of death from heart disease?

The study involved more than 23,000 Greeks aged 20-86. You may not know it but part of the Greek culture, especially in the islands and especially in summer, is to have a quiet time or siesta from about 3 P.M. to about 6 P.M. Karin and I have always honored this but rather than sleeping we usually go to the beach in the summer or take a walk in the winter. Then we usually go to bed at night much earlier then most Greeks. Now with this study maybe we too will start napping; that sounds like a good way to stay healthy to me.
From NEW YORK(ANA-MPA / P. Panagiotou)

Update: 28 Feb 07 This is from the New Scientist Newsletter:

Ever wondered why sleeping on a problem works? It seems that as well as strengthening our memories, sleep also helps us to extract themes and rules from the masses of information we soak up during the day.
Bob Stickgold from Harvard Medical School and his colleagues found that people were better able to recall lists of related words after a night's sleep than after the same time spent awake during the day. They also found it easier to recollect themes that the words had in common - forgetting around 25 per cent more themes after a waking rest. "We're not just stabilising memories during sleep," says Stickgold. "We're extracting the meaning."

Staying home in bed may keep us from getting run over by a truck as well. In the same news report the European Union’s statistical office announced that the three regions with the most victims from traffic accidents are in Greece. This is based on fatalities per number of registered vehicles. Our southern Aegean region is in sixth place. I know Greeks can be reckless drivers but I didn’t think it was that bad. Maybe it is due to another Greek trait of avoiding taxes by not registering vehicles; maybe it includes boats?


I guess I will have to spend less time on my motor scooter in between my naps.

This is me exploring Antiparos.

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At February 18, 2007 8:23 PM Castaway said...

naps are good! the pictures on your blog are very relaxing, too...

At February 18, 2007 11:25 PM Anonymous said...

The custom of Siestas seems to have been losing ground in the last few years in Spain, which is a shame. It's a custom I have adopted sporadically: more often in summer - when it's too hot to do anything in the heat of the afternoon - than winter. Glad to hear that naps are still part of Greek culture.


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