Hundreds of people in Mexico City stretch out for a ‘mass nap’ to commemorate World Sleep Day


MEXICO CITY (AP) — Those walking through the milling streets of downtown Mexico City on Friday were greeted with a strange and sleepy sight.

Lolling with bright blue yoga mats, sleeping masks and travel pillows, hundreds of Mexicans laid sprawled out on the ground at the base of the city’s iconic Monument to the Revolution to take a nap. Dubbed the “mass siesta,” the event was in commemoration of World Sleep Day.

It was also meant to be a protest to push for sleep to be considered an essential part of health and wellness.

Some participants wrapped themselves in bright orange blankets, while others prepped their phones to play soothing music as they slept.

Among the nappers was 52-year-old mariachi musician Manuel Magaña, who was popping in earbuds next to his wife, and 9-year-old daughter, who fell asleep holding hands. Magaña heard about the event on the news while he was looking for something fun to do with his granddaughter.

He said the idea struck a chord with him because as a mariachi he would work long and irregular hours, often going to bed as the sun would come up.

“As a musician I work at night, and I rarely sleep well during the day. Sometimes we forget to eat, sometimes all we get is a little nap,” he said.

The event was organized by the Center for Sleep and Neurosciences and the Mexican Society for the Investigation of Medicine and Sleep (SOMIMS).

As participants began to drift to sleep, organizers on stage chanted and lead participants through the meditation. They also listed off tips for helping people fall asleep, like getting plenty of natural light during the day and turning their phone off at night.

Oscar Sánchez Escandón, a director of the event and president of SOMIMS, said the event was meant to highlight “sleep inequality” around the world.

“We live in a society that is full of economic, social and political commitments, where everything matters other than rest. That can have a strong impact on health,” he said.

Nearly half of Mexicans are reported to have trouble sleeping, according to a study by the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Mexico was listed as the most overworked country in the world by a 2019 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development report, which compared working hours among dozens of countries across the planet.

Last year, Mexico’s congress debated a proposed reform to officially lower the weekly work hours from 48 – the average for many Latin American nations – to 40, standard for much of the world. The initiative was put forward by Mexico’s ruling party, Morena, but the debate got kicked back to 2024.

Gabriela Filio, a 49-year-old nurse, brought along her 25-year-old daughter with the hopes that Mexico’s younger generations would push for a better work balance.

“We are in a country where the paychecks often don’t add up. Sometimes we have to work two jobs, but we also need to make sure to care for our sleep quality,” Filio said, stretching out to take a quick rest.

Source: post