What is Sleep Like in Different Cultures

Americans are all familiar with our white fluffy mattresses and fancy beds, but how does the rest of the world sleep?  How could sleep be any different than how we do it?  Let’s look at some cultural differences of sleep and sleep environments.


In a recent study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation over 60% of Mexican people said they meditated or prayed before sleep each night.  Another behavior notated in the Mexican sleep culture is the need for a warm bath or shower before bed each night.  Of the nations  polled Mexico had the most amount of sleep on any work night, so they must be doing something right!



Chinese believe in teas and acupuncture remedies for helping with sleep.  Traditional Chinese Medicine also believes that getting to bed by 10:30 p.m. is key for organ repair, which begins at 11 p.m..



One-third of Brits surveyed by the National Sleep Foundation said they sleep in the nude. That’s a huge difference from Americans with a reported 8% population that like sleeping in their birthday suits.  




Scandinavians believe exposure to the cold is good for health.  It’s common  to babies bundled up in their strollers and allowed to nap in the frigid winter air.





In most Sub-Saharan countries Netted beds are a must.  The practice of keeping mosquito netting around your sleeping area is a must.  Mosquitoes in the area are known carriers of diseases, not to mentions to sheer quantity of mosquitoes would make sleeping a hard thing to do with a constant buzz in your ear!



Aside from sleep on tiny cotton mats on bare floor, Japanese sleeping culture is also different in the amount of sleep they regularly get.  The average Japanese person sleeps 6 hrs and 21 minutes, even less than the average American, 6 hrs 40 minutes.  Japanese also see napping as a culturally acceptable option to make up for lost sleep, so much so that it is common to nap in public places, subways, restaurants, and even offices.  


Sleep may be different in all nations, but one fact remains, sleep is necessary.  So tonight when you close your eyes for some shut eye, instead of thinking about how you really wish you could get more than 6 hrs and 40 minutes of GOOD sleep, think about how lucky you are not to have mosquitoes buzzing around your ears! 


sources: National Sleep Foundation, Huffpost, TheGreenturnip.com, and Sleep.org

About the author:

Javier is the owner of the Sleep Well, a professionally trained sleep store, specializing in specific mattresses for specific needs. He lives to give. He is an active member of his community and church. His hard work and efforts pay off for him when he can help others, and give to efforts for the betterment of others.
His spare time is spent with his beautiful wife, Gretchen. They are craft beer hobbyists who enjoy making their own beers, visiting small breweries, and making new friends. Their lives revolve around four great dogs and keeping up with their home in Alamogordo NM.