10 Sleep Habits from Around the World

10 Sleep Habits from Around the World

Sleep is one of the favourite things to do for most people. Good quality of sleep helps in many ways. 

Have you ever wondered how sleeping habits vary from country to country? 

Well, you might have always thought sleep is a common process followed up in every part of the world in a similar manner. Just have a good dinner, spend a good quality time and doze off on the bed either alone or with your partner.

Well as simple as it sounds, it is not that easy.  Sleeping is a normal body function required by every human to keep the wear and tear of the body perfectly working.

Although it's a common process to be followed, it has got many changes from each part of the world due to changes in the culture features, different bedtime routines, time zones, work hours, lifestyles, the diet they consume and environment plays a part too. 

Since every corner has varied options in all the fields it is quite common that people to adopt different sleep habits residing in a particular region. This article has brought together different sleep habits around the world under one read.

Different country, different sleep habits

Sleep habits are an important aspect to determine the underlying behaviour of the person. Sleep habits also can show the economic growth of the country depending on the people's working hours. 

The surveys conducted overall the globe has provided the data that shows countries like Australia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland and the UK rank at the top to complete sleep with an average of 8 to 8.5 hours per 24 hours whereas Iceland is just too close in the complete sleep hour with an average of 7.5 to 8 hours per 24 hours.

As the race is between completing sleep, many countries run totally in opposite directions. Developed economic countries like Japan and South Korea lack a lot in terms of completing good sleep. 

People in developed economic countries experience less sleep compared to those of moderate developed economic countries. The studies show people of such countries only sleep for an average of 6 to 6.5 hours per 24 hours. 

Conclusions are also that the problem of less sleep has given rise to the problem of Karoshi ( a phenomenon where people die from incomplete sleep).

Different country, different sleep habits


China follows many norms and traditions.

The sleep habits in china are based on many things like the position of the bed, placing of other things in the bedroom, directions of the bed facing, it also gets affected due to the working hours.

There are certain rules and regulations while arranging a bedroom. Feng shui is the person who guides the people where beds should be placed in the house or bedroom. 

People there strongly believe the position and direction of the bed affect sleep and health. The bigger your headboard of the bed the better is the luck, however, the wall to which the headboard is placed should not share the wall of the bathroom. 

There should be no mirrors that reflect the bed.

Chinese also follow the traditional medicinal compliments to help their sleep patterns. The people of China believe that the body starts organ repairing process2 right after 11 pm and hence had declared 10:30 pm as the ideal bedtime. 

The people here are too strict for their sleep habits and maintain the overall balance of healthy sleep.

China's economic culture has prolonged the working hours to which the people there had accepted by cutting off their sleeping hours. 

Thus this results in less sleep of people, however, people are allowed to have short naps after lunchtime to refresh their minds and increase their concentration. Some offices in China has built nap rooms to help their employees. What a luxurious way of working?


The tradition of catching up on some sleep in the form of afternoon naps followed right after lunchtime is the sleep habit adopted in Italy.

People enjoy this grand feast of sleep which is between 2 to 4 hours per day. While it is habitual in northern Italy and appreciated a lot, people from southern Italy partly call it an unprofessional and unproductive way to live.

We can call it catching up on the lost sleep since northern Italy has more remote areas compared to that of the southern part, and people here in the northern region follow the norm of waking up with the rise of dawn (approximately between 4 am to 5 am). Hence their body asks for the nap to complete the required sleep.

afternoon sleep


The sleep pattern in Germany for everyone is common, except for the couples or siblings or for any two persons who share the same bed. Usually, a couple loves to have closeness but Germany stands out of the box. 

Here the couples prefer two separate personal-sized blankets, instead of one large duvet sufficient for the couple. People find it helpful in maintaining peace with those who are bed hogs also two separate blankets let people have their personal space and quality sleep without often disturbing each other.


Icelanders or call them the real dare devil's who leave their babies outside of any shop or restaurant to have a little nap in their strollers (Sleeping with your baby)  

Icelanders are firm believers and one such belief is related to the sleeping habit. They believe that sleeping outside in the surrounding of nature and covered in the environment helps them to prosper and have a healthy life. 

While it is hard for adults to nap publically, you can easily spot many babies covered in duvets and packed up in strollers outside the shops sleeping peacefully.

The crime rate is at minimal to no level in Iceland which gives the people a safety assurance when the babies nap in open areas. It helps in lessening the concerns of anything going wrong.


Spain along with all its natural beauty and business centre is also known for its globally known sleep habits. It is just like a norm to be followed by everyone from kids to adults, to have an afternoon sleep after lunch. 

It normally is done between 2 pm to 4 pm and is known as Siesta. Siesta is the sleep habit for which working people are given breaks in the professional sector and local businesses close down for a siesta. This ensures the good health of Spain's people and helps them to have good bedtime globally.

Siesta is the sleep


British people are too sweet in many areas, yet when you accidentally find them naked in the bed don't get much shocked. People find it difficult to have proper sleep with clothes on however, the British people have the habit of sleeping naked. 

The study reports state about 30 to 40 % per cent of the UK's population sleep naked during the nighttime, which means nearly one-third of the UK is naked at the night.

Do you find it amusing?  

Well sleeping naked is now quite a common phenomenon, but other countries don't have such remarkable numbers to be seen on the charts.

Science says sleeping without clothes gives you sound and stress-free sleep also helps in keeping body temperature stable. People find it too good to have a connection with their partners.


Though Japan has progressed and modernization has been their core strength, the people of Japan still practice old sleeping habits left behind by their ancestors. They have the norm of co-sleeping where all the family members sleep in one room in the company of others. 

The people of Japan practice inemuri to have a good sleep. Inemuri is the way where people sleep with the present. As it is a developed economic country people here have longer working hours and shortened sleep hours. 

Surveys show that people in Japan on a night of average sleep for 6 to 6.4 hours per 24 hours, while the body requirement due to heavy work is around 7 to 8 hours per 24 hours.

Remote areas in Japan still practice sleeping on mats called futons. Futons are traditional types of mats made from rice straws that are directly placed on the ground. Japanese people are given respect if they doze off publically as the person is considered as a hard-working man.

Japan's also have a special criterion to place the head direction before sleeping. They believe placing your head in the north direction is a stroke of bad luck as the corpses are placed in the northern direction.


Among other countries, the USA has sleeping habits different for different age groups. In the USA toddlers and kids are made to sleep early so that the parents can have a good time together.

Teenagers in the USA normally don't sleep early, as they are involved in certain activities after dinner or like Argentine parents they have late dinners that result in late sleeping times. 

However, children are completely allowed to have their required sleep and wake up late in the morning. 

American adults have the sleep habit of sleeping with pets. Harris poll held in 2015 said every 3 out of 5 people own pets and almost 70% of Americans prefer sleeping with their3 pets.

Studies show how people around their pets feel relaxed, if they don't sleep continuously around their pets then they occasionally do it for sure.

sleeping with pets


Norway has the least number of night hours during the spring. It is due to the midnight sun that the daylight hours get extended more. The sleeping habit of the Norway people is adjustable since they are familiar with the time changes. 

You can easily find people cheery and energetic despite the less sleep. However, travellers are not that adaptive to the changes in sleep pattern, henceforth many hotels provide facilities of blackout curtains, sleep masks or sound resisting rooms so the light sleepers get most of their sleep completed.

Norway people enjoy the midnight sun as many of their festivals falls in the same period and such festivals last at least till midnight causing less sleep. But still, you won't find unhappy people there due to lack of sleep.


People in Mexico say they have deep nights of sleep compared to people in other countries. The reason behind this is that they keep their body relaxed or peaceful with the help of prayers. 

Mexican people (Mexican population of more than 80% are catholic) who strongly believe in God, follow nighttime prayers and meditated before their sleep time.

This sleeping habit should be accepted worldwide, however, the medium through which you relax your body can be different but the motto would remain the same i.e. to achieve quality sleep.


Imagine if you help your child to get rid of nightmares with the help of dolls. Does it sound interesting? Guatemala has this sleep habit to train their kids of becoming brave. 

The people here let their kids have dolls called worry dolls to help the kid if he/she is having nightmares or problems to get good sleep.  Kids are trained to share their problems with the dolls and thus kids get relaxed before bedtime. 

As soon as the relaxation hits the body, children easily fall asleep because the brain shuts down slowly with the relaxation.

The sharing to a worry doll is not only for kids, adults too practice this for their mental relaxation.

The custom is highly practised in the highlands of Guatemala to ensure everyone gets sound and healthy sleep. The Mayans believes that too much worry sharing creates problems for the worry dolls and hence to release the pressure from the dolls, they rub their bellies. 

Isn't it a cute sleep habit? 

They believe rubbing the bellies gives relief to the worry dolls.

So here were some of the sleep habits followed in the various corners of the globe, while some sound weird and some sound interesting, every sleep habit is an outcome of the practices and lifestyle due to long years of continuous practice.

Some habits are good while some sound annoying, but it is essential to study every detail before passing out any judgement to them.

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