National Sleep Foundation 2013 International Bedroom Poll First to Explore Sleep Differences among Six Countries

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Date:
Tuesday, September 3, 2013

of those in the United Kingdom (27%), the United States (25%) and Canada(23%) say they rarely or never get a good night's sleep during the work week.  Notably, one in ten in the United Kingdom (11%) say they never get a good night's sleep on work nights, twice the percentage of the other countries surveyed.

Despite slightly higher reported sleep satisfaction, almost one-third of Japanese (31%, about twice the rate of all other countries surveyed,) say they rarely or never woke up when they needed to during the work week, suggesting more sleep is desired.

"It is important to look at cultural differences in sleep, and not always to assume a U.S. focus," says Jan Born, PhD, Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Tubingen, Germany and a member of the NSF 2013 International Bedroom Poll expert panel.  "Sleep is deeply inter-connected with health and performance, but it is often overlooked by researchers. This poll shows intriguing cultural variations on how we tackle this nightly, biological ritual."

What makes a great bedroom? The answer may surprise you. 
Roughly nine out of ten in Mexico (92%), Germany (90%) and the United Kingdom (86%) and three-fourths in the United States (78%), and Canada (78%) agree they feel more relaxed if their bedroom has a fresh, pleasant scent.  Moreover, the majority of nationalities surveyed (65%-79%) agree they take steps to make sure their bedrooms smell the way they want.

"Studies have shown that scent plays a powerful role in relaxation and memory-building," says David Cloud, National Sleep Foundation CEO. "Having a pleasant scent and a relaxing bedroom routine can contribute to a good night's sleep. No matter what your nationality, you will spend about a third of your life in bed. Fresh air and a pleasant scent are great ways to improve your sleep experience."

More than one-half of Mexicans meditate or pray before bed; one-third of people in the United Kingdom sleep naked. 
The poll found some intriguing cultural differences in the bedtime rituals and habits of the six countries. For example, more than one-half of Mexicans (62%) and nearly half of Americans (47%) meditate or pray in the hour before sleep.

Four in ten (43%) of those in the United Kingdom drink a soothing beverage