The rituals and patterns that surround sleep can look different depending on which country and culture you come from. When, where, and how you sleep becomes an offshoot of the culture that you are a part of, just like it does for the food we eat and holidays we celebrate. Here’s a few of our favorite sleeping traditions from this big world we call home.
Siestas in Southern Europe
A siesta is a short nap taken in the early afternoon, often after the midday meal. They are considered normal and are incorporated into the workday in Spain. And a study of siestas in Greece reported that people who took regular 30-minute naps were 37 percent less likely to die of heart disease.
Al Fresco Naps for Kids in Scandinavia
In Nordic countries, it's common to let babies nap alone outdoors, even in freezing temperatures. Parents believe it helps boost children’s immune systems, and it is widely considered safe to do.
Public Sleeping in Japan
The concept of inemuri can be simplified as 'sleeping on the job', but a more accurate definition would be 'being present while asleep'. In Japan, it is seen as a sign of diligence and an efficient use of your time to nap wherever needed, regardless of where you are in public.
Worry Dolls for Indigenous Guatemalans
Worry dolls are small, hand-made dolls that originate from the highland indigenous people of Guatemala. Children tell their worries to the worry dolls and place them under their pillow before bed. By morning, the dolls have gifted them with the wisdom to eliminate their worries.
Pet Sleeping in the US
In the United States, people often sleep with their pets. According to a 2015 Harris Poll, more than three in five Americans own at least one pet, and 71% of those people let their pets sleep in bed with them. Here at Milton, we’ve been making sure that American’s (and their pets!) get the great night of sleep they deserve for 70 years.