The desire to have a good night’s sleep is universal. However, the techniques and customs for good sleep vary from country to country. There are some things that are surprising when you look at the common sense of Japan, but there are some good sleep methods that you want to try to relieve insomnia. Here are some tips on how to improve your sleeping habits around the world and how to improve your bedroom environment.
Unexpected for Japanese!? Unexpected good sleep methods around the world
If you can’t fall asleep easily, you won’t feel refreshed when you wake up the next morning. A TV program I once appeared on was a survey of good sleep habits in 100 countries. What do you all wear to sleep? Do you turn off the lights when you go to sleep? What do you do when you just can’t sleep?
Ingenuity and habits for good sleep vary from person to person and from country to country. This time, we will introduce the actions taken when you can’t sleep in various countries around the world and the ingenuity of the bedroom.
Surprisingly many countries sleep naked? What should we do in hot and humid Japan?
It may be surprising from a Japanese perspective, but there are quite a few countries where people sleep naked. Not only in hot countries, but also in Argentina, England, Nigeria, Nepal, France, Mongolia, etc., people answered that they sleep naked for a good night’s sleep. If you sleep naked without using bedding, the optimal temperature in the bedroom is 28-30 degrees. If the room temperature is below that, you should use some kind of bedding.
On the other hand, in a hot and humid environment like summer in Japan, it is recommended to wear pajamas and other nightwear properly because it is easy to sweat while sleeping. If sweat remains on the surface of the body, the cooling effect due to the evaporation of sweat will deteriorate. Therefore, it is recommended to let the nightwear absorb sweat once and make it easier for the body temperature to drop. For nightwear, choose materials that absorb and dissipate moisture well.
Furthermore, sleeping with the windows open seems to be common in Austria, Holland, Singapore, Germany, Poland and Moldova. This is probably due to the belief that good sleep requires clean air. If it’s not too cold, you may want to try it, but please be sure to take proper security measures.
Lighting when sleeping is OK for each person and country!
Do you sleep in a pitch black bedroom? In England, Italy, Cambodia, and Brunei, it seems that a small light is turned on when sleeping. If you don’t feel uneasy about darkness, you can sleep in a pitch black room without any problem, but if you feel uneasy about darkness, turning on a small light bulb will improve the quality of your sleep. This seems to be a matter of personal preference, not just country.
If you often wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, you may want to keep a small light on for safety.
The habit of “changing rooms when you can’t sleep” is a must-try in Japan!
What surprised me about Italy’s response when he couldn’t sleep was “change the room.” This is medically very good. This is because people who have no sleep problems have “bed, futon, bedroom = sleep” in their minds, whereas many people who suffer from insomnia think that “bed, futon, bedroom = sleeplessness”. It’s because I feel
Insomniacs think, “I might be able to sleep if I stay in the futon.” The point to change the feeling and thinking that “bed, futon, bedroom = insomnia” to “bed, futon, bedroom = sleep” is not to use the bed for anything other than sleep and sex life. If you can’t fall asleep for half an hour after getting into the futon, or if you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t sleep for half an hour after trying to get back to sleep, it’s time to leave the bedroom and do something relaxing in another room. If you feel sleepy after a while, go back to your bedroom and sleep.
This method is one of “cognitive-behavioral therapy” and is performed as a treatment method that does not use drugs even at medical institutions specializing in sleep. I felt that it would be good to incorporate it well without limiting it to the method in Italy.
Brush your teeth, take a walk, wash the dishes? Falling asleep rituals around the world
In Ireland, it seems that it is customary to brush your teeth before going to bed. But a study by the British Sleep Center found that sipping cold water while brushing your teeth can reduce melatonin production. In addition, the stimulation of the gums by the toothbrush excites the brain, so it also interferes with sleep. If you’re going to brush your teeth at night, it’s recommended that you do so at least 1 hour and 30 minutes before you go to bed.
Other interesting sleep habits before going to bed include washing the dishes in Argentina and taking a walk in Argentina and the Czech Republic. I can’t recommend anything that stimulates the brain too much, but you may want to create a sleep ritual that suits you.
You don’t have to count sheep when you can’t sleep!?
The world’s classic when you can’t sleep might be “counting sheep.” This is being done in 19 countries in Asia, Africa, South America and Europe. But sometimes I hear people say, “I counted a lot, but I couldn’t sleep at all.” Why “sheep” in the first place?
In fact, there is something that is unique to English. Sheep is “sheep” in English. “Sheep” is similar in pronunciation to “sleep” in sleep. Therefore, there is a theory that while saying “one sheep, two sheep, …”, “sleep” is associated with “sheep”, and self-suggestion is applied to make you sleepy. If you are not good at English, counting sheep in English can be stressful and make it even harder to sleep.
Doing simple things makes your brain bored. When you get bored, the function of the arousal nerve system weakens and you become sleepy. In non-English-speaking countries, different things are counted. Numbers and stars are counted in Malaysia, numbers are counted in Germany and stars are counted in Iran.
What surprised me the most was Chinese dumplings. This is also because the Chinese pronunciation of gyoza and the Chinese pronunciation of “sleep” are similar.
I hope you have understood that the good sleep techniques of each country are related to various circumstances such as the climate, customs, and language unique to each country. Try to find a good sleep method that suits you by incorporating things that can be incorporated well, or arranging them in a Japanese style.