The art of sleep


I’ve never been much of a napper; I tend to do all my sleeping at night. Napping isn’t really part of the 9–5 culture of the English-speaking world, despite the “power-nap” that has been adopted by certain corporate circles. People in Mediterranean countries know how to nap. Especially in the summer, when towns and cities all but shut down for a few hours, to avoid the searing heat in the middle of the day, letting people enjoy a leisurely civilized lunch and afternoon nap before they rise refreshed ready for the second part of their day. The siesta is in fact a part of life in many countries with hot climates and some without. In Japan, most of which isn’t all that hot, napping has been elevated to an art form: it’s performed just about any time or place, though quiet cafes, large department stores and climate-controlled train carriages seem to be preferred locations. After all my years here, I’m still impressed by the ease and speed with which locals can fall asleep In public.