Since Espacio Siestario opened in Chile’s capital city of Santiago late last year, over 400 customers a month have visited the country’s first-ever business dedicated to bringing back a once honored tradition: the afternoon nap. For about $10, a customer can rent a windowless room where they will receive a quick massage before their nap, which can last from 30 to 45 minutes. One first-time patron, Javier Swett, says he’ll be back: “This is clearly worth it…I was fast asleep, and now I’m back full of strength.”
What’s the Big Idea?
Other countries recognize the productivity benefits associated with siestas, but Chile isn’t one of them: Its citizens work more than 2,000 hours a year, making them one of the hardest-working populations in the developed world. In a fast-paced and fast-growing economic climate, afternoon naps are seen as a waste of time. Espacio Siestario owner Karin Schirmer says, “We often feel like we need to spend a lot of hours at work to be socially accepted, but they’re often unproductive…People assume that a siesta will be a waste of time but it’s priceless.”
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