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I wonder if the afternoon sleep/siesta culture has any bearing as well. People didnt evolve for 8-10 hour work days. Afternoon naps were common in early human life, from what Ive read.

Most people in Spain don’t sleep a siesta / nap anymore. Most of us work for multinationals with the normal 8/9 to 6/7 schedule. However, we do have a 1 hour lunch break where we can eat a 2 course meal calmly.

How common are seiestas outside of big cities? While in Madrid pretty much everything seemed open during daylight hours (although there was lots of late night revelry). However, I arrived in Toledo in the early afternoon to find lots of places still closed.

I'm currently living in a small city in the south (~120k pop), and here shops are usually open from 9:30 - 14:00 then 17:00 - 21:00, and closed all day Sunday. In larger or more tourist areas most shops will be open all day, but restaurants often still follow traditional hours.

That doesn't mean they are taking a nap. They are probably eating or doing something else.

I've heard that the South still do

The so called "siesta culture" is a myth.

That's sad.

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