Short Sleep on Work Nights Common: Poll
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FRIDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Sleep culture seems to vary depending on where you live, according to an international survey.
For example, people in the United States and Japan get less shuteye than those in Canada, Germany, Mexico and the United Kingdom.
The survey results showed that Americans and Japanese sleep 30 to 40 minutes less on work nights than people in the other countries, averaging six hours and 31 minutes and six hours and 22 minutes, respectively.
The National Sleep Foundation survey found that about two-thirds of Japanese people (66 percent) sleep less than seven hours on work nights, compared to about half of Americans (53 percent) and about one-third of people in the United Kingdom (39 percent), Germany (36 percent), Canada (30 percent) and Mexico (29 percent).
In addition, about 21 percent of Americans said they slept less than six hours on work nights, compared with 19 percent of Japanese, 18 percent of Britons, 11 percent of Mexicans, 10 percent of Germans and 7 percent of Canadians.
Perhaps to make up for all that lost sleep on work nights, 51 percent of Americans and Japanese said they took at least one daytime nap in the past two weeks. People in every country surveyed said they slept in on weekends, with an average of 45 minutes of extra sleep.
Among the other findings:
The survey uncovered cultural differences in the bedtime rituals and habits of the six countries. For example, 62 percent of Mexicans and nearly 47 percent of Americans meditate or pray in the hour before sleep. In the United Kingdom, 43 percent drink a soothing beverage, such as tea, before bed and 30 percent said they sleep naked.
Television viewing was the most common pre-sleep activity. Between 66 percent and 80 percent of people in all the countries surveyed said they watched TV in the hour before going to bed.
"As the first international public opinion poll on sleep, the National Sleep Foundation 2013 Bedroom Poll makes an important contribution to the field," Namni Goel, a research associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the expert panel, said in the news release.
"Although we know that everyone sleeps, the rather remarkable cultural differences within this universal experience have not been adequately explored," she said. "It is [the National Sleep Foundation's] hope that this initial poll will inspire more research on this critical yet understudied topic."
-- Robert Preidt
SOURCE: National Sleep Foundation, news release, Sept. 3, 2013