World Sleep Day: 6 Unusual Sleep Habits Across Cultures

Happy World Sleep Day!

It may come to a surprise that sleep habits vary around the globe. After all, it is just sleep.. isn’t it? It surprisingly is not! Some prefer to sleep alone, some prefer to co-sleep, some prefer to sleep in peaceful quietness and some prefer to sleep with as much noise as possible. Every culture has unique sleeping patterns and it is intriguing to discover how sleep varies across cultures. So in honor of World Sleep Day, let’s explore how people sleep around the world!


Indonesia

Have you been in the eye of a stressful situation and just want to doze off? In that case, you should adopt some Balinese culture as they practice a form of meditative sleep called “todoet poeles”, also known as “fear sleep”. When found in stressful situations, people who practice this cultural acquisition are able to instantly fall into a deep sleep. As sleep reduces or even erases fear, the Balinese sure know what they are doing.


Paraguay

Imagine sleeping in the company of your entire family, neighborhood, and even all your pets! Does it sound like your cup of tea? It might not but it certainly is for the Aché. They are the indigenous people of Paraguay and view sleep as a social activity. Family members, friends, and even domestic animals would gather and sleep together in one space because they believe that it would be safer for everyone. Talk about sharing is caring.


Egypt

If you think you are a heavy sleeper, be sure to attempt falling asleep in Cairo because they have remarkably unique sleeping habits. The Egyptians prefer to sleep with the sound of traffic buzzing through the open windows. They also take their sleep periodically for they divide their sleep regime into two times during the day, sleeping for 6 hours in the night while getting 2 hours of sleep in the day.


Japan

The first place that comes to mind when you think of taking a nap is definitely somewhere private, quiet and comfortable. However, the Japanese beg to differ. “Inemuri” is a common sleep practice in Japan where people sleep in public places. This is not limited to public transport, lectures, work meetings, or classes. Therefore it is not odd to find a person catching up on some zzz anywhere in the city.


Scandinavian Countries

Parent like a Scandinavian and let your children sleep outside. This might sound like a grueling thing to do to your child but Scandinavians believe that the fresh air is healthy and keep their young ones from getting sick. It is not uncommon to see strollers parked outside while parents are shopping or eating dinner indoors.


Guatemala

Ever struggled with all the unnecessary worry right before bed? The indigenous people of Guatemala have found a way to combat the worry with worry dolls. Worry dolls are tiny wooden dolls that are woven together with wire. It is believed that when one expresses their worries to the doll and puts it under their pillow, the doll will take all their worries and they will sleep peacefully through the night.

Image from Indibe via Flickr