Spain's first siesta championship wraps up in Madrid tomorrow, and the country's top napper will be awarded a prize of 1,000 euros.
Organized by the National Association of Friends of the Siesta, the competition aims to bring awareness to how modern life has eroded the Spanish tradition of taking a snooze after lunch, according to the news clip above.
During the competition, participants were outfitted with pulse monitors and provided with a bright blue sofa to nap on for 20 minutes. Judges awarded points for original sleep positions, loudest snore and duration of sleep. Eight rounds of the competition were held daily involving five contestants. The event proved to be so popular that the association is considering holding siesta contests outside of Spain, reports Discovery News.
Previous research has shown that a post-lunch nap can boost the brain's learning capacity, and some companies in the United States have started to add specially-designated nap rooms to boost worker productivity.
A recent Stanford study involving zebrafish underscored the importance of sleep by showing how sleep and the body's circadian clock affect the number of neuron-to-neuron connections in a particular region of the brain. The findings could help researchers better understand why we need to slumber and how, exactly, sleep is restorative.