How Different Cultures Get Their Snooze On


Sleeping is something all humans need to survive, and this like the other practices vary depending on the culture. In the United States, we usually sleep once a day and it’s during the night. However, many cultures sleep at many intervals throughout the day. Pajamas are usually worn during the night in the US, we usually only sleep in our own beds, we don’t usually sleep with dolls as adults as well as several different customs that we may not realize are unique to our culture.

The Spanish have been taking siestas for thousands of years according to records. It’s believed that this custom started as a way for farmers to rest during the day to have the energy for the rest of their work. Experts recommend that other countries take on this custom as well, for it may be beneficial to nap during the day. In the United Kingdom, a study from the National Sleeping Foundation found that one-third of all Britons sleep nude. This isn’t particularly unique though since many cultures in regions of Africa and Polynesia also live through the day without clothing.

Scandinavian countries like Finland and Sweden often leave their small children outside during the coldest months in order to breath in the cold air. This custom is related to the belief that the cold air will keep young children from getting sick. Daycares and preschools in these countries also give nap time outside. In cultures with a high frequency of Catholic and Christian faiths, it’s common for people to pray before bed.

The National Sleep Foundation found that in countries like Mexico, prayer before bed can be as common as sixty-five percent of the population. The indigenous peoples of Guatemala have a tradition of making ‘Worry Dolls’ that are used as a confidant to the user before bed. These dolls are hidden under a pillow after worries and fears are told to them, this is believed to make sleeping more restful.

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