There are many reasons why we don’t get enough sleep. Your sleep cycle is influenced by TV, midnight snacks, caffeine, and erratic work schedules. But there is one more fact – what country we are from. With the Sleep Cycle smartphone app, researchers can track sleep habits around the world. So, in which country do you spend the most time in bed?
The biggest sleepyheads in New Zealand. New Zealanders sleep 7 hours 36 minutes. The Dutch, the Finns, the British are slightly behind them. I feel – you want to say that with such a developed economy as theirs, you can sleep. But let me disagree. In Japan, Singapore and South Korea, people sleep less than others. It turns out that it is not only about the economy, but also about cultural traditions, mentality, and geographical location.
Scientists have found that countries that are geographically closer to each other have similar cultures, they have similar night habits, regardless of global trends. These trends are more likely to affect the interests of children. For example, according to a study in sleep medicine, children in Hong Kong go to bed on average 3 hours later than children in New Zealand.
Residents of this country sleep a couple of minutes less – about 7 hours 35 minutes. Apart from the above reasons, gender is also a key factor. Women and girls sleep a little more (15–20 minutes) than men and boys. The time of going to bed and waking up is determined mainly by age. While young children go to bed early and wake up early, the picture changes dramatically in adolescence: children go to bed later and sleep until noon on weekends, if they are allowed to. Sleep patterns change throughout life. The older, the earlier and earlier the time of going to bed and waking up.
Finns sleep a minute less than Dutch people. In Scandinavian countries, including Norway and Sweden, parents often leave young children to sleep outside, even if it is a harsh winter. According to the BBC, in these countries it is normal to leave the stroller parked outside the store and go shopping. Parents believe that fresh air is beneficial and being outdoors will keep babies from getting sick. Many kindergartens and preschool institutions arrange for naps in the fresh air.
The British also sleep a little more than 7.5 hours. With the advent of affordable TV and smartphones, not to mention streaming services like Netflix, many people choose to relax with technology before going to bed. But does this have an adverse effect? Comprehensive research has shown that at least two-thirds of people in the US, UK, Germany, Mexico, Japan, and Canada regularly use technology in some form right before bed. This often reduces the amount of time they sleep.
Many peoples have strange sleeping habits. For example, in the United Kingdom, they prefer to sleep naked. Nearly a third of Britons said they sleep naked most of their nights, far more than any other country surveyed. In addition, 32% of Britons and 48% of Japanese go to bed worrying about money and / or work.
People in France sleep a little less than seven and a half hours – about 7.28. Next to them are Swedes, Estonians, Belgians, Irish and Australians, who sleep a little longer. The presence of artificial lighting also affects when people go to bed and wake up. Those with power outages go to bed when the sun goes down as it is no longer possible to work.
In some African countries, including Botswana and Zaire, traditional hunter-gatherer groups do not follow a set sleep schedule like Western countries do. Instead, people sleep when they feel they need it — whether it’s during the day, in the evening, or late at night.
Americans sleep 7 hours 19 minutes. Sleep productivity also depends on who you sleep with. These habits differ from country to country and from culture to culture. Someone uses sleep for intimacy and intimacy, others – as a personal activity. In cultures that prioritize work and over-planning in personal life, this rhythm interferes with relaxation. Sleep is better for those who prioritize family time and sleep.
In the United States, people often sleep with their pets. This ritual can disrupt sleep, but a survey found that sleeping with pets is warm, happy, and relaxing. And all this helps a sound night sleep. Socioeconomic needs, marriage, and cultural norms tend to dictate who shares the bed with whom.
Some interesting statistics:
- 71% of American pet owners share bed with their furry friends;
- 54% of Japanese people sleep alone, for comparison: Canadians only 14%;
- 83% of Vietnamese parents share a bed with their children.
The Russians sleep 7 hours 7 minutes. Medicine says that each person needs seven to nine hours of sleep for optimal health. But the length of our sleep, as well as the time we go to bed and get up, depends on several factors. In Russia, they go to bed at 00:27 and wake up at 7:44.
Bedtime affects your daytime performance. Cultures that take long naps during the day tend to sleep less at night. In Egypt, for example, it is customary to sleep six hours at night and two hours during the day. And in Cuba, children often play outdoors long after sunset. Sleep Cycle data shows people in Poland, Japan, Chile, Portugal, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and Italy are awake until 1am. Ukrainians sleep 5 minutes more than Russians.
Filipinos sleep 6 hours 37 minutes. They, like residents of other sleep-deprived countries, sacrifice sleep for a to-do list. Agree, most of us have to combine full time, family and community chores. With so many things to do, it’s no surprise that sleep is the first thing we give up. Given this attitude and the fact that there is no country in the world with an average of 8 hours of sleep, sleep deprivation has become a global health problem.
In Spain and other hot countries, 20-minute lunch siesta is introduced – a nap. This solution improves mood and increases productivity. The cumulative effect of reduced productivity adds up to the loss of many work days. According to the Rand Corporation, the United States loses about 1.2 million work days a year because people don’t get enough sleep. In Japan, about 600,000 work days are lost annually, while in the UK and Germany the figure is around 200,000.
Residents of an Arab country sleep 6 hours 28 minutes. For good sleep, it is important where we sleep and how we sleep. Those accustomed to city noise seem to have no trouble sleeping. Cairo residents say they sleep soundly during the day, even with their windows wide open. Perhaps this trait is inherited from ancestors, since Cairo is an old civilization with historical city noise.
Most countries sleep on modern mattresses, but even here there are differences. Do you have two joined beds or is it a double? Or do you prefer, like Americans, a king-size bed? In Japan, the traditional tatami or futon rug is still a popular choice for sleeping. Hammocks are traditional for afternoon siesta throughout Central and South America. In some areas, they also predominate during nighttime sleep.
Japan is competing with Saudi Arabia as to which of them sleeps the least. Recently, the Japanese have been sleeping 10 minutes less – 6.18. But since the inhabitants of the Land of the Rising Sun do not get enough sleep, they are not ashamed to fall asleep at work or during dinner parties. This practice is called inemuri. In a culture that values hard work, sleeping in public is taken as a sign that a person is tired of hard work but still wants to participate in the situation.
In some cultures, sleep takes precedence or helps create social bonds. We have a busy schedule taking precedence over a good night’s sleep. The next time you’re at work, try telling your boss that you need a little nap to improve productivity! Americans and Japanese tend to doze more than people in Germany, Mexico or the UK, and 65% of Canadians do not doze at all.