Unique Sleeping Habits in Different Cultures



Whether you’re an A-list celebrity or a student trying to strong through your next online semester, sleep is something common to us all. Humans usually sleep for at least a few hours during a 24-hour day, and some rest more than others. However, sleeping habits around the world actually have some key differences. Here are some interesting sleep habits from different cultures and places:

  • Australia: Many indigenous groups in Australia have a cultural preference for group sleeps. They often lay out their beds in rows called yuntas. This pattern places the most vulnerable community members like children and older people in the middle and adults at the outer edges.
  • Spain: Many Latin American countries participate in the two-hour-long naps in the afternoon, the siesta. The Spanish believe that it recharges them for the rest of the day.
  • Japan: In Japan, many office workers often practice Inemuri that roughly translates to sleeping on duty. It is a widely accepted sleeping habit because it indicates that the napping person has worked especially hard in the office.

  • Egypt: The people of Egypt have unique sleeping habits when compared with the rest of the world. Instead of an 8-hour sleep, most Egyptians practice Polyphasic sleep habits, sleeping in two or more phases in a 24-hour day. The people tend to sleep for 6 hours in the evening and for 2 hours in the afternoon.
  • China: The Chinese practice of feng shui discourages the placement of mirrors in the bedroom. This practice stems from the Chinese belief that mirrors can bounce energy across a room, interfering with peaceful sleep.
  • Scandinavia: While it comes as a surprise, many Nordic and Scandinavian parents put their babies outside for the afternoon al fresco naps, even during chilly winters. The widespread Scandanavian belief that fresh air keeps the babies healthy and improves their quality of sleep backs this practice.

  • Norway: In Northern Norway, the Midnight Sun often keeps people awake at night. The Midnight Sun phenomenon is due to the Earth’s tilt that causes prolonged exposure to the Sun.
  • Botswana: Different forager groups in Botswana sleep whenever they like and don’t have a set sleeping schedule.

Different climates and cultures yield to various unique sleeping habits around the world. Many more interesting sleeping patterns can be found all over the world!