Though the Mediterranean countries have long known the value of the after-lunch siesta, it hasn’t been as much of an institution in other, cooler parts of the world. In summer temperatures of above 30 degrees, there is nothing for it but to pull down the shutters and pass out for two hours or more while the sun moves across the sky.

But even in these countries the afternoon nap is going out of fashion, says Stella Iacovides, a researcher at the Wits Sleep Laboratory and a senior lecturer in the department of physiology at Wits University...

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