A siesta is a short nap taken in the early afternoon, often after the midday meal. Such a period of sleep is a common tradition in some countries, particularly those where the weather is warm.
The Washington Post reports at length on studies in Greece that indicate that those who nap have less risk of heart attack and many of our highest achievers have long-proclaimed the benefits of taking a brief time-out from the stresses of the day. Winston Churchill first coined the term “power nap”, claiming that a daily afternoon sleep brought him the clarity of thinking he needed for wartime victory. President Bill Clinton did the same each day at 3pm. Other illustrious nappers include Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Johannes Brahms.
Experts say that a siesta should be no longer than half an hour and should take place on a sofa or in a comfortable armchair and not in bed, where one is more likely to fall into a deep sleep.