Germany Considers ‘Siesta’ to Beat the Heat

a girl napping on the sofa

Cooling Off the German Way: Embracing Siestas to Beat the Summer Heat Image: Shutterstock/ wavebreakmedia

WE all know how unbearable it can be to work in scorching temperatures, especially during the summer months. The heat can not only affect our comfort but also have a significant impact on our health and productivity. Recently, German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach expressed his support for a siesta on hot days, emphasising the health benefits it can provide. This idea has gained traction, with the head of Germany‘s medical association also advocating for a change in working methods during intense heat.

Lauterbach took to Twitter to highlight the advantages of taking a midday break during sweltering weather. He stated, “Siesta in the heat is certainly not a bad suggestion. Medically, it certainly makes sense for many professions.” His statement aligns with the perspective of Johannes Nießen, chairman of the Federal Association of Physicians of German Public Health Departments, who urged the adoption of a working pattern similar to that of southern countries.

In countries like Spain, Italy, and Greece, the siesta has long been ingrained in the cultural fabric. It involves taking a short nap or resting during the hottest hours of the day. This practice has proved beneficial, not just for comfort but also for health reasons. Nießen explained that in intense heat, people’s efficiency tends to decrease, and inadequate sleep due to the absence of cooling at night can lead to concentration problems. Therefore, adjusting work schedules to accommodate the weather can have a positive impact on productivity and overall well-being.

From a medical standpoint, a siesta can offer several advantages. First and foremost, it allows individuals to escape the scorching heat and find relief in a cool and comfortable environment. This break helps regulate body temperature and prevents overheating, reducing the risk of heat-related illnesses such as heatstroke or exhaustion. Moreover, midday rest promotes better sleep patterns, as it allows people to compensate for any lost sleep during hot and restless nights.

Additionally, the timing of work tasks can play a crucial role in maintaining productivity. Complex and demanding work requirements are best tackled during the early morning hours when temperatures are relatively cooler. By completing these tasks when our bodies are naturally more alert and focused, we can optimise our performance. On the other hand, reserving the hottest part of the day for rest and rejuvenation enables us to recharge our energy levels and approach the afternoon with renewed vigour.

Implementing siestas during hot days may not only benefit individuals but also have positive effects on society as a whole. Improved health and well-being among workers can lead to increased job satisfaction, reduced stress levels, and enhanced overall performance. Moreover, the siesta can encourage a more balanced approach to life, highlighting the importance of self-care and taking time for relaxation.

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Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!