8 bizarre sleep habits from around the world – and they could have a HUGE impact on your happiness

Would you sleep on the job?
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  • Are your sleep habits ruining your daily life? It might be worth taking a nap on the job!

    To celebrate World Sleep Day on March 15, Brother UK has taken an in-depth look at the most bizarre sleep habits from countries around the world to see if they could have an impact on productivity.

    Research via the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) suggests that lack of sleep can have a negative impact on emotion. Could naps of 20-30 minutes make for a more productive workforce, and have a positive impact on mood, concentration and attention?

    Struggling to sleep? READ: How to sleep better – simple ways to get a good night’s rest

    Sleep habits

    Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

    1. China – Bring your bedroom to work

    In factories and offices across China, the lines between the bedroom and the workspace are becoming increasingly blurred. Due to longer working hours, many employers now advocate a short nap after lunchtime to increase concentration. Certain offices have even installed temporary or permanent sleeping and washing facilities in their office spaces to encourage employees to stay round the clock.

    2. Japan – Inemuri

    Taking a nap at work could well be perceived as a sign of laziness, but not in Japan. The hectic lifestyle of Japan’s city dwellers has led to the wide-scale uptake of “inemuri”, or “sleeping whilst present”. Thanks to inemuri, Japanese workers can nap on public transport, at their desk or even during meetings – and it’s commonly seen as a sign of hard work.

    Sleep habits

    Image credit: Simon Whitmore

    3. Spain – Siesta

    Originating in Spain and parts of Latin America, the siesta is perhaps one of the most well-known daytime snoozing traditions across the globe. This practice might be under threat, however, with new business laws introduced in 2016 limiting how late employees can work, and effectively reducing the time they have to squeeze in an afternoon nap.

    4. Italy – Riposo

    Where the Spanish have a siesta, the Italians have “riposo”. Commonly taking place after lunch, riposo can last anywhere from 2-4 hours. Get us to Italy now! Frustratingly for tourists, this means that many attractions are closed throughout the day.

    Want more sleep advice? READ: Best mattress – the top choices for a perfect night’s sleep

    5. Norway – Napping outside

    Take a stroll through Oslo, Helsinki or another Nordic town, and you might well see some infants taking a nap in temperatures as low as -5 degrees Celsius. Don’t worry – they haven’t been abandoned; sleeping outdoors in the daytime is actually believed to be very good for their health.

    Sleep habits

    Image credit: David Brittain

    6. Indonesia – Fear sleep

    Stresses of work getting you down? The ominously named ‘fear sleep’ might be the solution. Locally referred to as “todoet poeles” – the practice of fear sleep enables people to nod off instantly to avoid feelings of excessive anxiety and stress. Nodding off when your boss walks in might not be the best solution, but regular naps could well help avoid work-related worry.

    7. Botswana – Sleeping on your own schedule

    You should sleep when it’s dark, correct? Not quite. At least, not in Botswana. The country’s native Kung hunter-gatherer tribe are well known for sleeping only when tired, regardless of the time of day. With an increased uptake of flexi-time, rise in self-chosen hours and growth of contract-based work, could businesses be embracing the way of the Kung sooner than we think?

    Sleep habits

    Image credit: Spike Powell

    8. USA – Silicon Valley sleepers

    Though it’s not a national custom just yet, sleeping on the job is widely being embraced by some of the USA’s biggest employers. Technology and software companies are leading the napping revolution, with firms like Google going so far as to have purpose-built sleeping pods installed in their offices to help employees rest and refresh.

    Too cold to sleep? READ: How to sleep when it is cold outside – easy ways to get a good night’s rest in winter

    What do your sleep habits reveal about you?

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