Traveling to different countries exposes you to their unique cultures. Not only will you learn about the local food, language and history, you’ll also get a glimpse into the culture’s quirks, especially when it comes to sleeping habits. So if you’re going to spend nights in unfamiliar territory, it’s best to know beforehand what sleeping patterns are the norm.
Enjoy Afternoon Naps in Madrid
If you feel like the afternoon is the slowest part of the day, you’ll enjoy living in Spain. The locals practice a tradition called “siesta,” where people take a midday break from work to take short naps at home. This is why most businesses and shops in the country close from 2 to 5 p.m. every day.
The National Sleep Foundation says the habit started centuries ago, when farmers were given time to rest during the hottest part of the day. Since Spain has a warm climate, siestas are treated as a necessity – a way for everyone to replenish lost energy from all the work they’ve put in throughout the morning.
Spend a Night Out in New York
If you’re a night owl then New York is where you want to be. With 24-hour delis, bars, and other establishments, the Big Apple is a paradise for night owls which is one of the reasons why it’s dubbed “the city that never sleeps.”
New Yorkers typically get up late in the morning and work through the rest of the day without stopping. A New York Magazine senior editor told the Huffington Post that the city has a culture of viewing success mainly through career achievements so the people make the most out of every possible minute. With the “boiler room” lifestyle being the norm, Americans would generally sacrifice sleep on weekdays and catch up on some needed rest at the weekends.
Snooze in Public in Tokyo
Although New York is referred to as the city that never sleeps, Tokyo holds the record for the city with the least amount of bedtime. The residents here get an average of 5 hours and 44 minutes of sleep, according to Time Magazine. So if you’re in Tokyo, it’s common to see people napping even in public areas.
By getting to bed late and waking up early, the Japanese spend less time at home and more hours at work. This practice is known as “inemuri” and it is culturally accepted. The locals see it as a sign of diligence: if you’re sleeping in public, you must be working hard.
Meditate Before Bedtime in Mexico City
Mexico is a country that’s proud of its rich heritage, as noted in our previous blog post Park Offers Insight into Mexico. As you become familiar with the Mexican culture, you’ll notice that religion plays a huge part in their lives. Mexicans perform daily prayer rituals, including one before bedtime.
A poll by the National Sleep Foundation reports that 62 percent of Mexicans say a prayer before hitting the sack. The study also found that Mexicans get an average of 7 hours and 3 minutes of sleep each day. This can be attributed to how prayer and meditation help with relaxation.
Sleep Naked in London
If you’re flying to the U.K., you may want to ditch your sleep clothes entirely. A lot of Brits snooze without clothes on. It appears this is a good practice since Londoners get about 7 hours and 2 minutes of sleep on a daily basis.
It may be because sleeping in the nude supposedly helps you to get better quality shut-eye. One of the benefits of sleeping naked that The Telegraph points out is that the absence of any underwear or clothing can help regulate your body temperature.
Although cultural differences in the bedroom are interesting to learn and try, generally speaking, what’s important is still getting a good night’s rest. A scientific adviser for Leesa emphasized that it’s not about having the highest average hours of sleep, but improving your “sleep efficiency.” If your body shuts down for 7 or 8 hours straight, you get 100 percent sleep efficiency. That’s the ideal value, but anything beyond 85 percent still means you’re having good sleep quality.
Nonetheless, everyone has different body clocks. As previously mentioned, it all comes down to what works for you.
Tags: London, Madrid, Mexico City, NYC, sleep, sleep study, Tokyo, travel, World Travel