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12:00 o’clock? Nap time!

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We’ve all been there. It’s almost half past midnight and you’re still wide awake; you’ve watched some bad late night talk show, read some of your book and you’ve even drank your Horlicks and you still can’t fall asleep. What is going wrong? Who knows. But just when you finally seem to doze off your alarm clock rings and it’s time to get up. Eugh.

A study conducted using data from the mobile app ‘Sleep Cycle’ showed that the average Brit gets 7 hours and 22 minutes sleep each night and – whether you believe me or not - this ranks the UK as one of the highest in terms of how much sleep we get each night. Only being narrowly defeated by the likes of the Netherlands and New Zealand. But in contrast, we are 44th place out of the 50 countries taking part for sleep quality.

No study can really tell why that is, as there are so many different variables that could affect the figure; working too hard, not working at all, too much caffeine, too little caffeine, maybe you still can’t shake that there might be scary killer clowns roaming the wilderness? The list goes on. But the UK seems to shuffle out of bed every morning looking quite restless and it can’t be helped to think that it is affecting our productivity and daily lives.

But for a moment, let’s look back at the amount of sleep each country gets. The lowest scoring nation, at a mere 5 hours 50 minutes, is Japan.

When we take a look at the mood in which we wake up, a poll from the same data taken by the app showed that Japan has a great score on average, much better than the UK. Why might this be? Surprisingly, it would seem that there is no direct correlation between quantity of sleep and quality of sleep. But something is quite a bit different in popular culture in Japan. ‘Inemuri’ (or 居眠 in it’s native tongue) is a practice well-regarded in Japan that entails dozing off at work, it seems taking a nap at work in Japan is so common that it even has its own name.

It is popular culture in Japan to doze off in otherwise public places including work. It is seen that a hard worker exhausts his or herself and as a result falls asleep. Whether there is truth to this, or it is just a great excuse to get some shut-eye, I don’t know.

Is there anything we could take from a country that is happier and more productive? What do you think? All I know is that if my boss walked by and found my face firmly planted into my keyboard the consequences would be very different!
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