How the World Sleeps

How the World Sleeps

girl sleeping on greens

Sleep is a universal habit, but the approach to it differs in all parts of the world. Some countries enjoy a generous amount of sleep, while others suffer from the lack of it. Many people also complain of sluggishness after waking up. As we’ve previously pointed out here on Tralulu Travel Guide, not everyone knows how to relax. Sometimes it takes something extra, like doing yoga poses, for you to feel refreshed. The same goes for sleeping, which is why several countries follow traditional practices when it comes to the activity.

In that regard, let’s take a look at how people of different cultures spend their time for dozing off.

Sleeping Couch

Spaniards love afternoon naps

In Spain, most businesses close from noon to early afternoon every day. This is because of the practice known as siesta, the centuries-old tradition of resting when the sun’s heat is at its peak. The National Sleep Foundation explained that this habit started from farmers who were encouraged to sleep during the hottest parts of the day. Spain is a particularly hot country, and the siesta provides the locals time to restore their energy.

The name is derived from the Latin phrase ‘hora sexta’, which means ‘sixth hour’. Spaniards traditionally consider dawn as the start of the day, hence the hours of siesta. But although it originated in Spain, it’s now practiced even in other Mediterranean nations like Italy and Greece, along with numerous Spanish-speaking countries.

Sleeping Girl on the Train

The Japanese sleep in public

While companies in other countries frown upon sleeping on the job, Japan actually encourages it. In fact, you can see many Japanese taking naps at the workplace or in public areas. This is because they typically sleep late in the night and rise early in the morning.

Taking naps in public is a culturally accepted practice termed inemuri, and the New York Times mentioned that it’s a sign of diligence for the locals. To them, sleeping in public means the person is working to the point of total exhaustion. It’s worth noting that Tokyo is also known to be the city with the least amount of sleep, with residents taking 5 hours and 59 minutes of average bedtime.

dark room for sleep

Germans leave their windows open

In Germany, it’s common to see houses with open windows at night. To the rest of the world, it’s generally understandable if done during summer, but the Germans apparently keep their windows open even in winter. This is because they believe fresh air is the secret to a good quality sleep. In addition, Leesa mentioned that they even hang blankets out during the day, so that the material will absorb outdoor scents and to allow only fresh air to enter when it’s bedtime.

Mexicans meditate before sleeping

Mexicans are a religious folk and research shows that 63 percent of them say a prayer and/or do other religious rituals before going to bed. Since praying can be considered a form of meditation, it’s known to induce relaxation. It appears to be helpful, given the fact that Mexicans have an average bedtime of 7 hours and 3 minutes.

The Brits prefer it naked

In a 2013 global sleep survey, it was discovered that a third of the British population prefers to sleep in the nude. Surprisingly, sleeping in your birthday suit has its benefits. The Telegraph noted that the absence of night clothes helps regulate body temperature, thereby giving the person better sleep quality. It is also reported to help with blood circulation, which is of course, great for the heart and muscles.

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