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article imageSnoring man from Ecuador wins siesta competition

By Lynn Curwin     Oct 24, 2010 in Lifestyle
Madrid - A 62-year-old Ecuadorian man won Spain’s first siesta championship. He not only napped for 17 minutes in a busy shopping centre but he almost managed an impressively loud snore.
Ecuadorean Pedro Soria Lopez, an unemployed security worker, was given 1,000 euros (£890) for his napping demonstration.
Although one other competitor had a longer nap, at 18 minutes, Lopez’s 70 decibels snores put him on top.
"Oh I am so happy to be the first champion," Sky News quoted him as saying.
"My wife made me do this, but then they couldn't wake me up. Naturally, the lunch I had before with the seven euros they had given me helped."
Spain's National Association of Friends of the Siesta organised the nine-day event as a light-hearted way to renew interest in power napping.
During that time, 360 competitors lay down blue sofas at a Madrid shopping centre and attempted to sleep as much as possible during a 20-minute period.
A doctor monitored their pulses to ensure they were asleep.
Along with length of napping time and snoring volume, competitors were also awarded points for unusual sleeping positions and attention-grabbing clothing.
One girl wore pink, heart-striped pajamas and snuggled up with a brown furry bunny. An older man with a cushion under his t-shirt had a Santa hat on his head.
"People are so stressed out they can't take siestas any more," mad quoted competition spokesman Andres Lemes as saying. "Studies show it's a healthy practice that recharges your batteries."
In 2007, hotel chain Trevelodge surveyed 4,300 British adults about napping and found that most believe a short snooze during the day would benefit the mind and body.
"A nap is nature's way of overcoming that afternoon 'dip' in energy levels when we find it difficult to concentrate and think clearly, leading to mistakes," ITN quoted Professor Jim Horne, of the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University, as saying.
"A short nap, or siesta, will restore alertness and improve productivity for the rest of the afternoon."
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