#43 Why Chinese people are so obsessed with having a nap 中国人为什么这么爱午睡?

Podcast Transcript

大家好,欢迎回来MaoMi Chinese。








Hello everyone. Welcome back to MaoMi Chinese. Do you have the habit of taking a nap? Taking a nap, means to sleep in the day, but people won’t sleep for very long and it’s normally less than 1 hour. Taking a nap is a very important habit for Chinese people. Today let’s talk about it.

I was used to taking a nap. When I first came to the UK, I couldn’t have a nap, because there is no nap time. I was not really used to it. Likewise, when some foreign friends first come to China, they are not used to taking a nap either. If you study in a Chinese school, every day after lunch, your classmates would go back to their dormitories or go back home to rest and take a nap. Around 2 o’clock, everyone would come back and start afternoon’s lessons. If there are no dormitories in school, students would stay in classrooms and bend over on desks and rest. If you work in a Chinese company in China, every day after lunch you would realise that all of your colleagues start to unfold their foldable beds, take out blankets, pillows and eye masks and get ready to take a nap. They would sleep until around 2 o’clock, then start their work in the afternoon.

There is a joke in Chinese, “If you don’t sleep at noon, you would break down in the afternoon.” Why is taking a nap so important? I believe there are 3 reasons.

The first reason is that the habit of taking a nap has a long history. Ancient China was an agricultural society. There is a saying in Chinese, “Morning hours are the best time of the day to work”, which means that morning is the most important time of the day, therefore, people would get up very early and start to work in the field. At noon, people felt very tired already and needed to rest and take a nap. In this way, they could have energy to carry on working in the afternoon. The same as China nowadays, people normally need to study or work for a long time in a day, so people need to rest and nap at noon time.

The second reason is that Chinese people like eating rice and noodles. These are both carbohydrates. People feel very sleepy after eating them and want to nap.

The third reason is related to the weather. In most of places in China, it’s very hot in summer, and noon in summer is even hotter. This is not good for work. Taking a nap is the best choice for people’s health.

If you didn’t sleep well last night, take a nap, just like Chinese people do!

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