Today is World sleep day, an annual event that promotes the benefits of healthy sleep patterns and raises awareness for sleep disorders. With the theme of this year being ‘Quality Sleep, Sound Mind, Happy Mind,’ we have gathered some interesting sleep facts from around the world to share with you, along with some healthy habits to try and improve quality of sleep.
5 Interesting facts about sleep from around the world
1. Which country gets the most sleep and which gets the least?
According to research by ENTRAIN, people in the Netherlands are getting the most sleep per night at an average of 8 hours 5 minutes. Those in Singapore have been reported to have been getting the least sleep at an average of 7 hours 24 minutes per night.
Inemuri translates as “sleep while being present,” and since there is such a strong work ethic in Japan, it is not uncommon to see people sleeping in public places. In this area of the world, it is culturally acceptable to sleep on public transport and at work to keep up with the fast paced lifestyle.
3. The Guatemala worry doll
Worry dolls are small, handmade dolls that originate from Mayan Culture. They were made as gifts for children in the hopes of alleviating their troubles for a peaceful night’s sleep. These dolls represent the Guatemalan’s local legend about a Mayan Princess named Lxmucane, given a gift by the Sun God to solve any worry that a person may have.
Children would tell the dolls their worries then place them under their pillows, the next morning their problems are said to have been taken away by the worry doll.
4. What is a Siesta?
A siesta is the practice of taking a midday nap, which comes from the Latin phrase “hora sexta,” which translate to “the sixth hour.” In Spanish culture, this nap takes place between 2pm – 5pm and some businesses temporarily close during these hours.
5. The Scandinavian winter nap
Countries such as Norway, Denmark and Finland can experience sub-zero temperatures, they believe the colder air promotes deeper sleep and find their children take longer naps outside in these conditions as opposed to inside. Many Nordic parents find that sleeping outside helps their children acclimate to the climate, so they can spend more time outdoors as they get older.
Top tips to ensure you get your 7-9 hours of quality sleep
Sleep is so important because it affects our physical, mental and emotional well-being. It allows time for our bodies to recharge and our minds to process memories, leaving us refreshed and alert when we wake up. Without enough sleep we can encounter lack of concentration and forgetfulness during the day. So how can you ensure you get a restful nights sleep?
1. Introduce a pre-bedtime relaxation ritual
In other words, have a little ‘me’ time! Run a bath with some muscle relaxing salts, light a candle and slip into your comfiest loungewear. Take this time to wind-down from your busy day and release tension before you sleep. Working up until we go to bed means we are staying energized and alert, so it is no surprise it can be hard to fall asleep with such an active brain. Meditating, doing some light yoga and reading are all great ways to relax before you sleep, grab your favorite book and put your feet up!
Our Helena slippers are the perfect soft mules to snuggle down in as you relax for the evening.
2. Turn off your electronics before bed
Stop swiping, double tapping and replying – here’s why you should consider reducing the time spent on your devices before bed. The blue light from devices effects melanin, important for cellular health, and it can also disrupt your sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm). The artificial light emitted from phones and laptop screens keeps your brain active so it can be harder to fall asleep, for this reason The National Sleep Foundation suggests we should stop using electronic devices at least an hour before we go to sleep.
3. Set a regular sleeping schedule
However tempting it may be to hit ‘snooze’ on the morning alarm, going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day is a healthy habit that can help reduce sleep deprivation. Sticking to a solid sleep schedule invites good quality rest, it allows us to set a schedule to help maintain your body’s internal clock (or circadian rhythm). This regulates cycles of alertness throughout the day, helping you stay productive and feel tired at the same time each evening. This tip is important for restoring balance, benefitting your overall wellbeing and improving quality of sleep.
Image 1: Ύπνος εν ώρα εργασίας; Μια παράξενη ιαπωνική συνήθεια! | Perierga.gr
What Is Circadian Rhythm? | Sleep Foundation
How Blue Light Affects Sleep | Sleep Foundation