What is something that’s found globally but looks different? Sleep! Catching the Zzzs may be a universal activity but sleeping habits vary from person to person and culture to culture, developing in different ways with different lifestyles, priorities and beliefs!
Here’s some of the sleep habits around the world that may surprise you!
1. Sleeping with pets in the US
When the Americans say their pets are their best friends, they walk the talk! While many Singaporean pet owners may be concerned with the dirt that our pooches may bring to the bed and prefer sleeping separately from them, American pet owners surveyed think that sleeping with their breeds a deep companionship and purportedly reduces their anxiety! Now that’s one way to have a better night’s sleep!
2. Siesta is the Spanish way of life
If there’s anywhere that takes the nap seriously, it’s the Spanish! The mid-day nap is part of a larger culture in areas experiencing a warmer climate, so that people could hide away in the hottest part of the day! Workers usually recharge themselves over a two-hour nap to power through the remaining of the day.
3. Inemuri – no shame in public naps!In a culture that values working hard, it’s unsurprising to see Japanese commuters dozing off on the train or at a public space like a park bench. Instead of a sign of laziness, this behaviour suggests that the employee has worked especially hard.
4. Office snoozes in China
Another part of the world which values working hard is China. This is why napping rooms or pods within the office premise are common, must-have features. Much research has shown the regenerative qualities of a short nap, reducing stress levels, boosting energy levels (sometimes more than a cup of joe would) and also improving one’s mood. In fact, the western world is starting to catch up to this practice, and companies like Google and Samsung have started integrating nap spaces into their offices!