Why The Spanish Are Losing Sleep

Why The Spanish Are Losing Sleep

Spaniards sleep about 53 minutes less than the European average, but does this mean they are overworked? Not exactly. Well, at least not quite yet.  In many small Spanish towns, most citizens still take a mid day siesta which is born from the unbearable afternoon climate in the country of Spain.


However, few people in cities can take a siesta which is creating a transition from a culture that affords themselves siestas to one that doesn’t. While it may not be a massive change for those who work indoors (thanks to air conditioning, it is those who work in construction or in the realm of agriculture to work in the heat of the afternoon, but the mounting pressure to scrap the split work day is because of its impact on work-life balance, not because people are worried they’re not getting enough sleep.

The other factor that affects Spaniards’ sleeping habits is that the country is in the “wrong” time zone. Geographically, Spain should be on Greenwich Mean Time, but in 1942, Francisco Franco switched the nation to European Central Time in solidarity with Adolf Hitler, and oddly none of his successors made plans to change it back.

In due course the clocks may change, but for Spaniards, family and social life will always take priority. If enjoying a family dinner or a drink with friends means missing an hour’s sleep, you probably won’t find too many to complain. 

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about Why The Spanish Are Losing Sleep! What are your thoughts on the barriers to sleep that the Spanish are navigating daily? Would changing the time zone help matter? Join the conversation below!