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With the development of the information society, information can arrive instantly within the world, even if it is thousands of miles away. Without leaving home, you can learn about the differences in living habits, customs and cultures around the world. What is strange to many people is that they have never heard of the habit of taking a nap in foreign countries, and sometimes they drink some refreshing drinks such as tea or coffee in the afternoon.

Why does this happen, and does sleeping at noon have any effect on health?

Why do Chinese people like naps so much, but most Europeans and Americans don’t like naps?

Due to long and intricate historical reasons, Chinese people and people in Western European and American countries have great differences in living habits, cultural traditions, cognitive understanding and many other aspects , resulting in the difference that Chinese people generally like to take a nap, while most Europeans and Americans don’t.

First, the way of maintaining health is different

Chinese people’s health preservation has always respected the way of nature, pays attention to the unity of nature and man, and follows the laws of life. It is one of the most famous ways of maintaining health. , is to take a “midnight nap“. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that falling asleep on time at midnight (11:00 pm to 1:00 am) and noon (11:00 am to 1:00 pm) every day is called “midnight sleep”. .

In the medical classic “Huangdi Neijing”, there are also written records: “There are twelve months in the year, twelve days in the day, and the meridian is the classic. , Maoyou is the weft”, “When a person lies down, blood returns to the liver”, which are the methods of health preservation about “Midnight Flowing Note“.

The ancients divided the 24 hours a day into 12 hours, which correspond to the twelve earthly branches, which are combined with the blood circulation of the twelve zang-fu organs and the opening and closing of acupoints. In the twelve o’clock of the day, the body’s qi and blood are connected end to end, circulating and flowing.

Zone and noon are the best times to nourish the liver and gallbladder, and sleep is the best way to cultivate. Sleeping at this time helps to store the essence and blood, the liver and gallbladder can be recuperated, and the yang qi then grows.

Some people with restless sleep and lack of qi and blood often appear blue-gray complexion, bloodshot eyes, lethargic expression, and emotional irritability. These people are also more prone to liver disease. When the body is unwell, it is of course the first thing to make up for sleep. It is recommended that everyone pay attention to rest and develop a good habit of regular sleep.

In western European and American countries with developed industry and commerce, people’s concept of health care not only emphasizes psychological enrichment and mental health, but also pays special attention to exercise health care. The French thinker Voltaire put forward the life motto of “life lies in sports”, and the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle also strongly advocated that people participate in sports in order to maintain a healthy body.

Therefore, Westerners generally do not arrange sleep activities during the day. They prefer to promote blood circulation, improve physical function and enhance immunity through physical exercise, exercise and other methods.

Secondly, there are differences in dietary structure

The staple food of Chinese people is mostly rice and noodles. Rice noodles are indispensable for all three meals, or reprocessed foods with rice noodles as the main raw material. These foods generally contain more carbohydrates, which will produce a lot of sugars after ingesting them. The eating habits of the Chinese people also emphasize the need to be full at noon.

A lot of carbohydrate foods such as rice and noodles will suddenly increase the sugar in the blood, and then affect the digestive system, causing the brain to feel a sense of oxygen deficiency, so people often feel sleepy after lunch /strong>, a moment of sleep is urgently needed, so that the spirit can relax and rest.

The eating habits of Westerners are quite different from ours. They attach great importance to the intake of high protein, high calorie, high fiber, etc. , with eggs, ham, milk, fruit, chocolate as the main food. Even if you eat something like a hamburger or sandwich for lunch, the carb ratio generally doesn’t exceed one-third.

In addition, Westerners generally have the habit of drinking coffee. A cup of coffee at noon or after a meal will refresh and relieve fatigue, and the energy can be quickly restored, and the mind can be maintained throughout the day Sobriety, which is why many Westerners don’t need a lunch break.

Third,Living habits dictate

China is a big agricultural country, and people have developed the habit of working at sunrise and resting at sunset since ancient times. “The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine” says: “In the third month of autumn, the master is restrained, and it is advisable to ‘lie early and get up early, and the chickens will thrive’; in the third month of winter, the master is closed and hidden, and it is advisable to ‘bed early and get up late, and must wait for the sun’.”

For thousands of years, Chinese people have been accustomed to going to bed early and getting up early. In the process of working all day, it is also habitual to take a nap to relieve fatigue and restore mental and physical strength. As the so-called “sleeping in spring, lacking in autumn and taking a nap in summer” and “collapse in the afternoon without sleep at noon”, generations of Chinese also like to emphasize the importance of naps when educating their children.

In China, almost every family, workplace, kindergarten, primary and secondary school has a special time period for lunch break. Academician Zhong Nanshan, a well-known medical expert, once shared his nap habit. He said: “A nap is a very important gas station. Living in Guangdong, the temperature is relatively high, and people are easily tired. After taking a nap for half an hour, you can work more energetically. It will be better. Now more people insist on taking a nap, which is a good habit.

In Western countries, people usually do not have this habit, and they even think that taking a nap It’s a waste of time. When they feel tired and need a break, they generally tend to choose to refresh their spirits through chatting, listening to music, drinking a cup of coffee, eating afternoon tea and other recreational activities.

The living habits of Westerners are also very different from our Chinese. Their work and rest time is not based on the natural astronomical phenomenon of the rising and setting of the sun. Rather, it prefers to refer to the clock. For example, no matter what the season, it is customary to get up at seven o’clock in the morning and rest at eleven o’clock in the evening. In some companies, people also habitually choose to have meetings, entertainment, etc. at one o’clock at noon.

Fourth, etiquette culture is affecting

We Chinese feel that taking a nap is a normal behavior. Therefore, no matter at home or in public places, during the lunch break, people either lie on the bed, rest on the sofa, or take a nap on the table, as long as they can take a nap, it doesn’t matter which sleeping position , and there is nothing wrong with it.

In the eyes of foreigners, sleeping in public places is extremely indecent. They generally believe that sleeping is a private matter and should not be exposed in public, so as not to cause bad visual effects to others. They feel that napping is something kids do before the age of 5, while teens and adults pay attention to public civility.

The best time for a nap

Many people may recover their mental and physical strength from a nap, while some may feel More drowsy and tired, why is this?

Scientific research shows that during sleep, the body and mind actually undergo a cyclical change, from waking to light sleep, then to deep sleep, and back to light sleep in the middle, when nap time After more than 45 minutes, enter dream sleep. At this point, the human muscles enter a state of complete relaxation. If you wake up at this time, you will feel dizzy and weak.

Therefore, nap time is not necessarily as long as possible. Scientific nap time is best controlled within 30 to 45 minutes.

Nap time and correct posture

Many people like to take a nap right after lunch, sometimes Feeling faint and uncomfortable with stomach pain; some people like to lie down and watch videos on their mobile phones, so that they can’t fall asleep for a long time. These are very bad nap habits.

Because napping immediately after meals will increase the burden on human digestion and cause indigestion, and in severe cases, gastritis will occur. The behavior of lying down and looking at the mobile phone will greatly harm the quality of sleep, in addition to damage to the eyesight and skin health.

Therefore, doctors often advise everyone to exercise appropriately after lunch, take a walk or sit down and rest, and take a nap after 20 minutes. This is what people often say “walk a hundred steps after a meal and live to ninety-nine.”

There are still many people who think that naps don’t need to care about sleeping posture , how to sleep comfortably, and a considerable number of people can only lie on the desktop to sleep in the morning due to limited conditions. However, such a bad sleeping position really damages the health of the eyes and spine, and even directly affects normal breathing.

In general, the best position for a nap is to sleep on your back. If you are limited by conditions, you can also sleep with your head leaning back against the back of the chair, or put a soft cushion under half of your face and sleep on your side. This will better avoid compressing nerves, or squeezing the chest.

Final summary

Chinese people always pay attention to the natural way of maintaining the unity of nature and man, and naps are rooted in Chinese people It is a well-respected healthy lifestyle habit that is highly regarded as a health-preserving culture. Even if people in Western Europe and the United States don’t like naps, they can keep their spirits full through fitness exercises.

In fact, these two methods achieve the same goal in the pursuit of health. , the goal of all mankind is always the same.


“Why only Chinese people like to take a nap?” Nan Zhou knows , 2019-08-03

“Nap is more beneficial, but are you sleeping right?” Xiamen Evening News, 2019-07-13

“Four Misunderstandings of Sleep in the Elderly” Hebei Daily 2009.4.20

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