Japan Today

Study once again ranks Japan as the country that sleeps the least

By Dale Roll, SoraNews24

In 2014, we shared a study that suggested that Japanese citizens sleep far less than their international counterparts. Four years have passed, and it seems like that still holds true. Using worldwide data compiled through their Polar A370 and Polar M430 model fitness trackers, Polar Electro’s Japan branch revealed that once again, Japan is lacking in the sleep department.

The data compares male and female fitness tracker users from 28 countries all over the world, and reveals that Japanese men and women sleep an average of 6 hours and 35 minutes per night, which is 45 minutes less than the international average, and nearly an hour difference from Finland, whose users seem to sleep the most.

The top five countries where men and women got the most sleep on average were:

Men: Finland (7:24), women: Finland and Belgium (7:45)

Men: Estonia (7:23)

Men and women: France and Estonia (7:23 and 7:44 respectively)

Men and women: Austria (7:21 and (7:36, respectively)

Men: Holland (7:20), women: Holland and Canada (7:41)

The UK also ranks fairly highly, eighth for men and eleventh for women, while the U.S. ranks a bit lower, sixteenth for men and thirteenth for women. The five bottom countries, where men and women got the least amount of sleep, with five being the least, were:

  1. Men: Colombia (6:49), women: China (7:11)
  2. Men: Brazil (6:47), women: Colombia (7:10)
  3. Men: Israel and Hong Kong (6:42), women: Hong Kong (6:59)
  4. Women: Israel (6:51)
  5. Men and women: Japan (6:30 and 6:40 respectively)

Chinese men also slept little compared to other men, with an average of 6 hours and 52 minutes per night, but Japan takes the cake for both sexes barely surpassing six and a half hours of sleep per night. In fact, only seven countries’ men and three countries’ women averaged less than seven hours per night, which makes Japan’s short sleeps even more significant.

What’s interesting is that, despite Japanese workers’ infamously long commutes to work, they’re not getting up any earlier than most of their counterparts. They are, however, going to bed much later. Men in Japan on average go to bed later than those in almost every other country except Hong Kong, Brazil, China, and Spain, and the only women who went to bed later than Japanese women were from Hong Kong and Spain. However, women slept more and went to bed earlier than men in all of the countries, though about half woke up earlier than men.

These results don’t include the age or occupation of the participants, and it’s important to keep in mind that this is also a group of presumably fitness-minded individuals, judging from the fact that they own and regularly wear a fitness tracker. They could be making more conscious efforts to sleep longer than others, so these results may skewed, and should be taken with a grain of salt. That might also be why this group of Japanese men and women has slept more than the group analyzed in the 2014 study, though without a control group, it’s hard to say.

Nevertheless, it’s an interesting collection of data, and despite the differences with the 2014 group, the study still came to the same conclusion: Japanese people sleep less than other people. That might give cause to wonder why Japanese men and women go to bed so late and sleep so little, and naturally the first thought that comes to mind is that the Japanese work very long hours, with lots of stress that can result in lack of sleep. Social obligations after working those long hours, like company drinking parties, which are an integral part of Japanese work culture, may also be why Japanese men and women are going to bed so late.

On the other hand, there are plenty of ways to catch a snooze during the day in Japan, like on the train, at a sleep cafe, or even with a magical sleep-inducing massage. It could be that all of these little snoozes throughout the day are making up for Japanese workers’ lost sleep in the end.

Source: IT Media News via Otakomu

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Government survey reveals Japanese life expectancy at highest ever, second highest in the world

-- Late to bed, early to rise: Statistics suggest Japan seriously skimps on sleep

-- Japanese survey reveals having a significant other slows your pace, makes you lazier

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Men and women: Japan (6:30 and 6:40 respectively)

That's actually higher than I expected. I know some people who sleep about 4 hours or less. I get cranky if I sleep less than 6/7ish.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This may be why many Japanese people I've met list "sleeping" as one of their hobbies. Once sleeping becomes your hobby you've got a lot of problems

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The Japanese probably sleep as much as the rest of the world if you include the time spent sleeping on trains, in class, at work, ...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

"Study" doesn't count the number of hours we spend sleeping in the train, so it's invalid!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

There may also be the chance that some of those surveyed lied about the amount of time they sleep. You see, Japan is a country where if you sleep too much it means you're not "ganbaru-ing" enough.


3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is terrible. Sleep is essential, and if you have a sleep starved population it can lead to many bad things such as mental health problems, physical ailments, you name it. This issue HAS to be addressed, but who am I kidding? Not gonna happen

Mental health problems, dementia, heart problems, diabetes and obesity are all linked to chronic sleep deprivation. They start early in Japan, with cram school until late and kids in supermarkets and restaurants at 9, 10pm when they should be at home in bed. I'm still shocked to see young children out so late at night, especially school nights.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Steven Fennel

The reason why these poor kidz even list sleeping as a hobby is because of how restricted the poor things are. Made to study and do homework on days off or holidays, deliberately not allowed free time, and being shipped off to jukus that run till 10:00pm.

Combine that with the knowledge it will only get worse...heck I fully understands when some poor 9 year old soul laments to me of the stress and says they love to sleep.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is terrible. Sleep is essential, and if you have a sleep starved population it can lead to many bad things such as mental health problems, physical ailments, you name it. This issue HAS to be addressed, but who am I kidding? Not gonna happen

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Meanwhile I look behind me and my Japanese coworker is sleeping during lunch.

Also if getting 8 hours sleep is important (which it has now been proven to be too much) and Japanese get so little sleep how is it that the Japanese have such long lives?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

8 hours every night all my life!

If I have to get up early I just go to bed earlier.

Without it I just don't function optimally.

Agree with TigersTokyoDome the data collection method invalidates any statistical conclusions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Using worldwide data compiled through their Polar A370 and Polar M430 model fitness trackers

Errmm, lets not get too excited. These results are severely restricted to people using this specific fitness tracker.  You need to tell us how many people took part.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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