Happy World Sleep Day, everyone. In honor of the holiday, we’ve collected some of the more interesting sleep habits of people around the world for your sleep education and enjoyment.
The World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM) began celebrating World Sleep Day in 2008 as a way to highlight the benefits of healthy sleep habits and to spread awareness about sleep disorders and the massive, if often ignored, effects that sleep deprivation has on society.
Read on to learn the secret to great sleep according to Germany, France, Japan and China. Make sure you don’t skip the parts about the Chinese, whose commitment to public napping may rival that of any other group of people in the world – even Leesa employees.
Germany: The Secret to Great Sleep? Fresh Air.
In Germany, many believe the secret to restful sleep is breathing fresh air, so they often leave a window open at night. If you visit the country, you might also see blankets hanging from open windows during the day; many Germans believe this habit will help blankets absorb the smell of the outdoors, and thus, will transfer fresh air, the secret ingredient to great sleep, to their owners at night.
Brazilians Leave Their Smartphones Out of the Bedroom
While Americans can’t seem to put down our electronics, Brazilians avoid the smartphone-in-bed routine and prefer to rise and fall asleep with the natural rhythms of the sun. Since the blue light from electronics can keep your brain from going into sleep mode and prevent you from getting quality sleep, it’s logical that Brazilians report higher-quality sleep and fewer sleep disorders.
Despite Laissez-Faire Reputation, France Worries
Perhaps going against the widely-held perception of the French laissez-faire attitude, a full 21% of Frenchmen (and women) say that worrying keeps them awake at night, while 26% of those said work and financial issues are the worries they struggle with most., about one in eight report taking regular naps, though naps are much less common in large cities like Paris. On average, people in France sleep a healthy seven hours and 24 minutes each night.
Japan’s Futuristic Capsule Hotels
Due to the often extreme lack of space on the country’s small islands, the Japanese have creatively built space-saving solutions from tiny apartments to “capsule hotels.” The hotels, which look like a human version of a pet store, provide an inexpensive private space (sometimes called a “pod”) for people to sleep. The hotels often have group locker rooms for showering and storing personal items.
If you ask us, these seem like the perfect way to avoid the local drunk tank if your designated driver bails, especially if your Irish is still showing from earlier in the night.
The pods were designed to simulate the feel of a very small room for sleepers out there who really just need a bed to sleep on. And if Japan doesn’t already sound like the country you’d most like to sleep around in, you can even doze off on a stranger’s shoulder mid-commute. Everyone understands you’ve had a crazy work day. It’s completely acceptable!
China’s National Sport: Extreme Public Napping
The Chinese have a long and celebrated history, including a period of time in which everyone slept on wooden beds. Wait, wooden beds?! That’s right! More commonly called “tatami beds,” this sleeping style originated in Japan but spread to China, becoming particularly popular in Taiwan. These mats, made of rush grass woven around a rice straw core, were often laid directly on the floor.
Their extreme commitment to napping reflects the social acceptability of getting by however you can in one of the largest countries in the world, where life typically includes long working hours and cramped living conditions.