TitleSiesta by decree or sound policy to promote sleep health? Lessons from a municipal proclamation in a rural Spanish town
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsF. Nieto, J
JournalSleep Health
Pagination227 - 228
Date Published12/2015

On July 15, 2015, a news article published in a regional paper in Valencia, Spain was quickly picked up by Spanish national news media; Joan Faus, the mayor of Ador, a small town (population 1400) in the province of Valencia, had issued a proclamation (“bando” in Spanish) requesting that the town’s residents try to keep noise levels down between 2:00 and 5:00 pm. The proclamation, which is broadcast on town loudspeakers during the hottest days of the summer states that: “In order to guarantee everyones’s rest and thus better deal with the rigors of the summer, we ask you to please respect the midday hours of rest from 2 to 5 pm, keeping children at home and keeping the volume of music and television at acceptable levels.” The story went viral. Headlines offered by the Spanish media include the following: “siesta by decree”; “siesta by order of the mayor”1; "siesta is declared 'sacred' in small Spanish town”; and “Ador, the Valencian town where taking a siesta is mandatory.” In a radio interview, when asked whether he would call the police to enforce compliance with the “order,” Mayor Faus patiently insisted that the proclamation is not an imposition but a “recommendation,” adding that “[we] actually don’t even have police in this town!”