Since this month is officially National Bed Month 2015, we thought it would be appropriate to share some bedroom-related statistics…. The National Sleep Foundation International Bedroom Poll, though it was carried out in 2013, was the first to explore the differences in sleep and bedroom behaviour among six different countries across the world. It might be a rather “old” poll by today’s standards of constant information, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that sleep habits haven’t changed an awful lot in the past couple of years.
The six countries examined were:
- United States
- United Kingdom
Average Hours of Sleep
Unsurprisingly, it seems that all the countries slept an average of 45 minutes longer on non-workdays than workdays. Japan sleeps significantly less than the other countries every day, regardless of working periods – with an average of 6 hours 22 minutes on workdays and 7 hours 12 minutes on non-workdays. Though United States is a pretty close second by approximately 10 minutes both days.
|US||6 hours 31 minutes||7 hours 22 minutes||13 hours 53 minutes|
|Canada||7 hours 3 minutes||7 hours 52 minutes||14 hours 55 minutes|
|Mexico||7 hours 6 minutes||7 hours 46 minutes||14 hours 52 minutes|
|UK||6 hours 49 minutes||7 hours 26 minutes||14 hours 15 minutes|
|Germany||7 hours 1 minute||8 hours||15 hours 1 minute|
|Japan||6 hours 22 minutes||7 hours 12 minutes||13 hours 34 minutes|
A Good Night’s Sleep
This graph from the Sleep Foundation details the number of nights participants across each country can say “I had a good night’s sleep”:
Out of a choice between “every night or almost every night”, “a few nights a week”, “rarely” and “never”, it seems that we in the UK get the least amount of good night’s sleeps with an astonishing 11% of those in the UK saying that they never get a good night’s sleep. In addition to this, further questioning shows that the 12% of the UK sample can never get to sleep quickly either. Meanwhile, in Mexico and Japan, they seem to be sleeping rather well. Mexico, in particular, as the additional research shows that less than 1% can never get to sleep quickly in contrast to the UK’s 12%.
What to Wear to Bed
It gets even more interesting when we take a look at what respondents wear to sleep most nights:
|Sleep wear worn most nights||USA||Canada||Mexico||UK||Germany||Japan|
|With pajamas or something else||73%||77%||76%||56%||84%||91%|
|Without socks on||55%||43%||27%||32%||63%||61%|
|With socks on||16%||19%||10%||7%||7%||5%|
|With nothing on||12%||14%||12%||30%||9%||–|
|Don’t know / Refused||1%||–||<1%||4%||<1%||–|
It seems that in the USA and Canada, they’re significantly more likely to wear socks to bed. But… where it gets really shocking is that the UK is over twice as likely to wear nothing to bed at all than any other country polled. A staggering 30% of UK respondents claimed to sleep in the nude; a huge contrast to Japan where 91% wear pajamas or some other kind of dedicated sleep wear.
Number of Pillows
Next, let’s take a bizarre look at where we sleep: pillows. How many is too many? What’s the mean number of pillows per country?
|Number of pillows||USA||Canada||Mexico||UK||Germany||Japan|
|1 – 2 pillows||73%||75%||72%||80%||84%||88%|
|Mean # of pillows||2.2||2||1.7||2.1||1.6||1.1|
Boy, we sure do love our pillows in the United Kingdom! Along with in the USA and Canada, we have to sleep with at least two pillows! Meanwhile, in Japan, it’s practically unheard of to sleep with more than 1. Even two pillows, only 9% of those polled in Japan said that they sleep with two. In fact, more people choose to sleep on no pillows at all rather than 3 or more. Whereas in the UK, less than 1% sleep with no pillow. 1 in 10 of those polled in Mexico sleep with no pillows at all most nights. So, how is it that they are able to out-sleep the rest of us and get such a good night’s sleep?!
Airing out the Bedroom
It seems that the United States aren’t fans of airing out their bedroom, with 30% of US respondents admitting to airing out their bedroom less often than every three weeks. Whilst in Germany, 100% of those interviewed claim to air out their bedroom at least once a week.
Changing Bed Sheets
When it comes to changing the bed sheets though, the US are more likely to do so at least once a week (62%). The majority of German respondents change their bed sheets at least every other week but notably, 28% of those questioned in Japan change their sheets less often than every three weeks. Mexico are yet again in the lead, with 81% stating that they change their sheets at least once a week.
Going to Sleep
When we take a look at the sorts of activities done every night (or almost every night) within the hour before sleep, we can cross reference how different countries choose to spend the hour before their bed time and how quickly they go to bed as well as how well they sleep.
|Meditated or prayed||47%||34%||62%||11%||14%||5%|
|Used their phone||34%||45%||36%||37%||30%||38%|
|Took a warm bath or shower||33%||48%||59%||39%||20%||35%|
|Read a print book/magazine||26%||34%||36%||42%||32%||26%|
|Use scented lotion||19%||24%||35%||14%||8%||8%|
|Had a soothing beverage||13%||26%||30%||43%||11%||26%|
|Listened to music||13%||25%||30%||21%||18%||21%|
|Used a relaxing scent||10%||16%||18%||10%||6%||6%|
It seems that watching TV is the world’s favourite way of spending the hour before bed time. As far as the computer, laptop, tablet and phone usage goes… I think these statistics would have changed significantly in the past two years due to the increase of smartphone penetration and the way in which we use our mobile devices and the internet these days.
Prayer and meditation before bed is also interesting to look at. Only 5% of Japanese respondents said that they pray or meditate before bed, in comparison to 62% of the Mexican and 47% of the American.
For more data from the 2013 International Bedroom Poll, you can visit Sleep Foundation’s official website: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/professionals/sleep-america-polls/2013-international-bedroom-poll