Need Some Shut-Eye? Join Spain’s Siesta Contest

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A doctor checks as people sleep a siesta during the first Siesta Championship in Madrid, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010.

AP Photo/Paul White

Think you’re an expert nap-taker? Prove it.

Sign up for Spain’s very first siesta competition, an attempt to preserve the country’s traditional afternoon nap. It’s currently being held in the middle of a Madrid shopping mall, through Oct. 23. Rack up the most points by the end, and you get a $1,400 prize. (You could even use this cool gadget to avoid jet lag on your trip to Europe.)

You can’t win by taking the longest nap — your nap just has to be awesome. Contestants get points for snoring, contorting into strange positions and wearing outlandish costumes. And you can’t fake it, because doctors check your pulse to make sure you’re really asleep.  (See why people snore in the first place.)

Why all the fuss? Apparently, the fine art of the siesta is in jeopardy in Spain, with work schedules becoming more hectic and television networks airing trashy programs during the napping hour. Come on, Spaniards, keep napping — do it for the rest of the world, which is forced to keep working during the post-lunch slump.

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