Sleep Habits From Around The World

December 7, 2017  |  
1 of 15 relaxing in rural hammock

Sleep is a pretty major topic of discussion, which might be the only thing about it that’s true across the globe. One of the first things you tell your partner, roommate, or family in the morning is how well you slept (or didn’t sleep.) You might discuss the things that disrupted your sleep, or the change you made that helped you sleep deeper. In the U.S., we’re pretty used to substituting caffeine for sleep and choosing one more activity at the end of the night instead of one more hour of sleep. The latest bars and clubs close around 3 or 4 in the morning in this country, which plays a role in dictating our weekend sleeping habits (for the clubbers, and those trying to shut out the noise the clubbers are making). But sleep is different everywhere you go. Here are sleep habits from around the world.

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The recommended hours

Across the globe, doctors tend to recommend that you get between seven and nine hours of sleep at night. So I don’t care how powerful you are in your corner of the world—you’re not powerful enough to go on five hours of sleep.

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Australians sleep together

According to one sleep expert’s report, Australians like to sleep in groups, either with several beds next to each other or in groups in large beds. It has to do with protecting weaker individuals like children or the elderly.


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The worst sleepers think they’re the best

Japan actually gets the least sleep! With most people there only averaging around seven hours of sleep a night. Oddly enough, they report feeling like they had a good night’s sleep more than most countries., London, Westminster, London Eye and Big Ben at dusk

This country sleeps pretty badly

The UK is most prone to report that they did not get a good night’s sleep. Interestingly enough, individuals here get an average of nearly eight and a half hours of sleep a night.

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These people meditate before bed

Reportedly 62 percent of Mexicans meditate before going to bed. By the way, they average a little over eight hours of sleep a night, so maybe we should take a page out of their book.


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These people bathe

According to surveys, nearly half of Canadians take a warm bath before going to bed—another deeply soothing practice.

We don’t have the best bedtime habits

Unfortunately, nearly a quarter of Americans watch television before bed. Bright screens, stimuli, and potentially upsetting news or plot lines don’t make for the best night’s sleep.

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But at least we don’t do this

In Japan, using a laptop or tablet right before bed is a very common practice. This could be even more upsetting to our rest than watching TV, since laptops and tablets tend to be interactive.

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Pillow habits

Americans and Europeans like to splurge on two pillows per person, whereas Asians tend to only use one pillow per person.


No pillows

It’s common for people in Mexico to not sleep with a pillow at all. Around ten percent of Japanese people also choose to go sans pillow.

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These folks nap at work

In Japan, it’s quite common to see a professional napping at her desk. These in-office naps are called “inemuri” and are not only accepted but encouraged to improve productivity.

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These folks nap a lot

“Siestas” are quite common throughout Latin America. It’s not uncommon to see that a shop is closed because the owner is taking a siesta.

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These people love to stay up late

Individuals in Poland often stay up until nearly one in the morning. Japan isn’t far behind them, nor is Chile, Portugal, or the Philippines.

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These people wake up early

South Africans like to rise with the sun around 6:30 in the morning. Colombians and Costa Ricans are quite similar. Indonesians are also up before 7 am.

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Sleeping apparel (or lack thereof)

One-third of UK residents sleep in the nude. Hopefully they keep a robe by their bed in case of an emergency.

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