I love to sleep.
When I was young (during the Peloponnesian Wars), I despised sleep. It seemed like a waste of time to me. When there was life to live, my motto was: There will be plenty of time to sleep in the grave.
Now that the grave draws nearer, I am beginning to change my mind.
Maybe it was retirement. Or Mexico.
"Nap" has always been burdened with the baggage of slumbering babes or drooling seniors.
But "siesta" ushers us into a world of humid afternoons cooled by fans and wooden window shutters. A place where the musical laughter of women can be recalled in repose.
Maybe I am just trying to justify the fact that during the past year I have slept away hours of my life. And, now, with my broken ankle, I just sleep. And sleep. And sleep.
As it so often does, The Economist has come to my rescue.
It turns out I am not wasting my life through sleep. I am fighting off heart disease and improving my memory.
The first claim has long been known. Siestas have a direct relationship with reducing deaths from heart disease.
But the memory claim is new. A study out of UC Berkeley has established that an afternoon siesta of 90 to 100 minutes allows the brain to process the information it has gained during the early part of the day while resetting the mind to learn new information during the rest of the day.
That type of rest can be as beneficial for the brain as a full night's sleep.
It also helps to explain why my young friends in Mexico City can party until the wee hours of the morning and still be up to get to work in the morning. They recharge with their siestas.
I can hear those doubting Thomases and Tinas among you, saying: "I can't nap. I get up feeling tired."
The study addresses that, as well. The effect is called "sleep inertia." It is caused when the brain wakes prematurely from a deep sleep.
But why does that happen? Simple. Lack of practice. The condition arises frequently in people who are not siesta veterans.
So, there you have it. The perfect excuse to take a regular snooze in the afternoon.
And if your boss finds you slumped in your chair after lunch enjoying the virtues of a siesta, tell her you are improving your memory -- and avoiding a heart attack for good measure.
Excuse me now while I go off to practice a bit of healthy living.