12 sleep habits from around the world

Do you like to take a nap at work? You will enjoy living in Japan! Prefer to spend a lunch break with your family – you will be welcomed by Spain. Well, if you find it difficult to fall asleep without your favorite toy in bed, you should buy a tour to the Republic of Guatemala.

Spain: daily siesta

According to the National Sleep Foundation , the Spanish tradition of sleeping at noon for more than a thousand years! Historians believe that it arose so that the farmers of this hot country could take time out during the grueling work on the field, to have lunch and regain their strength. It is siesta that allows a person to be more productive during the day! 

Today, a typical working day in Spain looks something like this: 9.00-13.30, siesta and 16.30-20.00. Would you take a siesta, knowing that after it you have to stay longer at work?

On a note!

Studies have shown that approximately 75% of people around the world fill their rooms with pleasant aromas before going to bed. Most often, the choice falls on the essential oils of lavender and jasmine.

Norway and Sweden: sleeping babies outdoors

The behavior of the newly made parents in the Scandinavian countries would have shocked many Russians. And all because it is absolutely normal for them to “park” the stroller with the sleeping child at the entrance to the store and leave the baby there to inspect dreams, while parents will make purchases. And although, of course, fresh air is good for babies, sleep without supervision is a little too much. Although, for the sake of justice, it is worth noting that Norway and Sweden are among the safest countries for life.

Mexico: bedtime prayer

In Mexico, meditation and bedtime prayers are very common. A survey of the National Sleep Fund showed that 62% of the inhabitants of this country always pray or meditate an hour before bedtime. And it is worth noting that these are really good habits.    

While watching news, checking e-mail and monitoring social networks “excite” a person, causing stress, prayer and meditation, on the contrary, relax and gently immerse into the “Kingdom of Dreams”.

It is interesting!

Studies show that Mexicans sleep on average 7 hours 6 minutes a day. At the same time, slightly less than half of the respondents claim that they have a quality sleep every night. Experts believe that this is due to a very frequent change of bed linen. 82% of Mexicans change their bed strictly once a day.

Republic of Guatemala: dolls under the pillow

If you are sad, you are upset or inflated with something, miniature dolls can bring relief, a dozen of which can easily fit in your palm. Residents of this country call them worry dolls (in translation – “anxiety dolls”). The Mayan descendants believe that if they are put under a pillow at night, people will wake up in a good mood, cheerful and active, because all the “bad” dolls will take over.

Great Britain: nude sleep

Studies of the same National Sleep Fund showed that a third of Britons sleep naked. And this is not a tribute to fashion, but a good habit! The fact is that in order to immerse yourself in the deep sleep phase, the body needs to lower its body temperature. But this does not happen when a person goes to bed in tight pajamas or a long nightgown, and in addition also wraps himself in a warm blanket. Therefore, if he manages to fall asleep, then the dream is superficial. This one does not energize, but brings lethargy and bad mood. What the Russians call “getting the wrong foot.”  

United States: sleeping with pets

Residents of America often sleep with their pets. And they, by the way, are in almost every family! According to surveys of publication the Harris the Poll , three out of five Americans are concerned, at least, this pet at home. And 71% of owners allow pets to sleep with them in the same bed at least sometimes.   

When the Mayo Clinic experts asked the owners of the pets why they were taking them with them to bed, people replied that the pets gave them their warmth, made them happy, and even treated their illnesses. Not to mention that the quality of sleep in this case is the highest.  

Did you know?

In North America, pillows are the most important attribute of a night’s rest. Without them, most residents simply won’t go to bed. According to statistics, there are an average of 2.2 pillows per bed.

For comparison: the people in Japan need the pillows the least; here, there are only 1.1 pillows per bed.

Afghanistan: a bed trip around the house

In the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, there is no clear division of the house into separate bedrooms, as is customary with us. When the time of sleep comes , the inhabitants of this country simply lay the mattress on the floor where they want, and most importantly – they fall asleep and have good dreams! 

Of course, learning to fall asleep anywhere, getting rest and “rebooting” the body is a good habit, but your separate sleeping place, which no one dares to take, also means a lot.

China: clear bedtime

The life of people in the Celestial Empire is determined by long-standing traditions, male and female principles – “Yin” and “Yang”. People believe that you need to go to bed strictly at a certain time, when “opposites” change. This happens at 22.30.

However, modern researchers support the people of China in this matter: biorhythms of the human body “order” to go to bed until 23.00. Well, if for some reason you cannot fall asleep, use the recommendation from China – make tea from chrysanthemum inflorescences. It has a mild calming effect and brings back dreams.

Africa: traditions of shared sleep

If many mothers of Russia seek from the first days of the baby’s life to teach him to sleep in his crib, then the inhabitants of Asia, Africa and Latin America advocate a joint dream. In one bed, a family of three to four people sleep well here: mom, dad and one or two children. And no random kicks, and tugs of blankets!

The tradition of joint sleep is supported by scientists from the University of Pittsburgh , located in the United States. They believe that such a night’s rest promotes a sense of security and reduces the level of cortisol in the body – the “stress hormone”. 


Some African tribes, especially Botswana and Zaire, do not have a clear sleep schedule. Night for them is not a time of rest. People sleep here when they want it – in the morning, day or night. However, experts are sure that such a regime is dangerous for a person. The irregular schedule of the “sleep marathon” leads to malfunctions in the circadian rhythms of the body. To date, it has been proven that this increases the risks of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, diabetes and obesity.

Argentine Republic: very late dinner and only then a dream

If you took the habit of eating before bedtime, you should definitely visit Argentina – almost everyone does it there! Residents of this country do not believe in the rule “do not eat after six”, but confidently and, most importantly, regularly, plan dinner at 21.00. Such a late meal occurs an hour before bedtime, however, the Argentines manage to somehow get enough sleep.  

Japan: a dream in public

In the Land of the Rising Sun, there is the practice of daytime sleep at work, in public transport, a park or just on a bench by the subway. It is called “inemuri”, which means “to be present and to sleep.”

Interestingly, unlike Russia, where sleep in the workplace can lead to dismissal or reprimand in the work book, it is even encouraged in Japan. A nation that appreciates hard work takes a nap in public as a sign that a person is tired of long hard work, but still wants to participate in it, so he decided to take a mini-break.


According to the reports of sociologists, the Japanese really work hard and sleep little, on average, their sleep is 6 hours 22 minutes, which is the smallest value in the world.

Expert Commentary

Irina Khvingia, Clinical Neuropsychologist, Perinatal Psychologist

How much should a person sleep? An infant up to three months sleeps mostly, interrupting for food. A child of preschool and school age should sleep at least 10 hours. In adolescence, sleep time is reduced to 9 hours, or even less. An adult needs to fully sleep at least 8 hours a day.

Since serious scientific research on this topic has not yet been conducted, these are average indicators, the rest – on an individual basis. There is no single conclusion about the duration of sleep, however, doctors and scientists are unanimous that lack of sleep negatively affects the quality of life and human health. There are two definitions – a person’s need for sleep and the need for an organism. As practice shows, these are two different concepts. Someone thinks that he has enough for sleep, for example, 7 hours a day, while the body of this time may be critically short.

At the age of 18-20 to 30-40 years, the peak of a person’s activity comes when he simultaneously studies, works, has fun, leads an active lifestyle or brings up young children. Therefore, sleep time is allocated according to the residual principle, it happens that no more than 3-4 hours a day. However, this time is absolutely insufficient for a full rest and recovery of the body. Chronic lack of sleep accumulates. Even if a person does not experience discomfort and chronic fatigue during this period of his life, then subsequently a lack of sleep will necessarily affect his health not in the best way. Negative consequences are inevitable.

If the autonomic nervous system is initially healthy and strong, then the consequences of prolonged lack of sleep can only be felt by the retirement age. This mechanism can be compared with the operation of batteries – sooner or later they become unusable. Those who have a weaker autonomic nervous system begin to feel much worse because of prolonged lack of sleep after 30 years. Suddenly, diseases arise, early rises are difficult, the concentration of attention and working capacity are reduced, constant fatigue and lethargy torment, various disorders appear.

The need for an adult’s sleep after 40-45 years is still the same as before – 8 hours a day. At this age, a certain baggage of diseases, in most cases of cardiovascular diseases, has already been accumulated. If this is so, then a person needs more time to sleep, otherwise the body will have nowhere to take new resources for recovery. The more you are active during this period of your life in any field – whether it is work, personal life, hobbies, sports or everything taken together, the more time you need to sleep. Even with additional resources to restore the body. There is a need for daytime sleep. Especially if you have insomnia at night.

As a rule, it bothers older people after 60 years. They accumulate various diseases that disturb their sleep, and also they are tormented by psychological discomfort from a lesser demand, from the fact that they can no longer realize themselves in the profession or in other useful fields. This is of particular concern to women. Senior citizens sleep less. However, in the body of an elderly person, the need for longer sleep increases. Elderly people, like children, need to sleep at least 10 hours a day.

However, every third adult experiences regular sleep problems, which negatively affects their well-being, ability to work, and overall health. Often somatic diseases become the cause of insomnia, when, against the background of pain, a person cannot fall asleep or constantly wakes up. Another reason is a side effect of drugs, especially for the treatment of neurological diseases. In addition, insomnia is possible against a background of stress. By the way, joyful emotions, excitement, euphoria can also deprive a person of sleep along with negative emotional experiences. Insomnia can occur due to a violation of the adaptive function of the autonomic nervous system. In a word, there can be many reasons.

Insomnia is one of the symptoms of internal discomfort, there are many ways to deal with it, including medication. The fight against insomnia must begin with determining the cause of its occurrence. Only a competent specialist will be able to determine how acute this condition is and what consequences it may lead to. Do not prescribe medications yourself, because they can make the situation worse. However, if the cause of insomnia is psychological, there is no point in refusing drugs. It is important to remember that any psychopharmacology affects only the symptom, but not the cause. As soon as you stop taking the drug, insomnia will return again, because psychotropic drugs do not treat the cause of sleep disturbance.

Of course, insomnia can be short-lived, for example, in anticipation of exciting events, important negotiations, a long-awaited triumph, during a period of acute emotional experiences of unexpected life circumstances. Then taking sleeping pills is justified, at least you can get enough sleep. If sleep disorders continue after anxiety has passed, you need to visit a specialist who will conduct a competent diagnosis and identify the cause of insomnia.

Proper organization of a sleeping place and premises can help to overcome insomnia. The bed and bedding should be comfortable, individually selected. The bedroom should be dark, quiet and cool, it is necessary to remove any sources of sound and light. Before you go to bed, you need to ventilate the room, but it is important to prevent hypothermia, especially of the hands and feet – they must remain warm.

Overly sensitive and color-sensitive people need to think in advance in which colors the repair will be carried out in the bedroom. If the interior is rich in bright colors, the room is filled with shiny objects, then the human body can respond to insomnia. This does not threaten people with a healthy nervous system – they adapt to any color scheme and will sleep soundly.

Many people like to sleep for the upcoming click with a television remote control and study the tapes of social networks – not worth it. The less we watch TV and surf the Internet before going to bed, the less likely brain overload, and therefore insomnia.

Breathing exercises are another way to relax and try to sleep. Respiratory organs are a powerful tool in the struggle for strong dreams. Slow, deep breath, holding your breath for seven to eight seconds, and then a smooth exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. A few minutes of this technique can help you fall asleep even in the most hopeless situations.

You can also use self-massage. There are several points on the hands, massaging which, you can quickly relax and fall asleep. There are many similar psychological techniques, the main thing is to find one that helps, everything is individual. Someone may be helped by meditative calm music.

It is important to remember one general rule – a person should fall asleep and wake up on different days. That is, you need to go to bed before 12 a.m. Otherwise, there is overexcitation, and excessive brain activity will not allow the body to fully relax.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *