「ST」は紙名を新たに「Alpha」として2018年6月29日より新創刊しました。 Alpha以降の英文記事はこちら
「ST」は紙名を新たに「Alpha」として2018年6月29日より新創刊しました。 Alpha以降の英文記事はこちら


Sleepless in the city

By Anthony Fensom


Tom Hanks may have been sleepless in Seattle, but Tokyo residents are the world’s biggest night owls. That was the conclusion of a recent survey by device maker Jawbone, which tracked the sleep patterns of thousands of users of its activity tracking wristband, including those in Australia, Japan and the United States.

According to the survey, Tokyoites get the least amount of sleep worldwide, averaging just 5.46 hours a night. This may explain the behavior of Tokyo train travelers, who use public transport to catch a little shut-eye.

The residents of Seoul ranked second among the night owls at just 5.55 hours per night, followed by Dubai, Singapore and Mexico City at 6.32 hours each. Among American cities, those in San Antonio, Texas, were the most active at night, sleeping just 6.4 hours.

At the other end of the scale, the people of Melbourne were counted the world’s deepest sleepers, averaging 7.05 hours a night, followed closely by London and Denver, Colorado, both at 7.02 hours, and this writer’s hometown of Brisbane, Australia, on seven hours, equal to Paris.

The survey’s findings compare to a similar poll by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which found that Japanese sleep an average of seven hours and 43 minutes a day, about 30 minutes below the OECD average.

While the two survey’s results differ in terms of raw hours, the trend reveals that few in Japan or other urbanized nations are getting enough sleep.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S. recommends seven to eight hours a night of sleep for adults, and at least 10 hours for school-age children. It warns that insufficient sleep is associated with chronic diseases and conditions such as depression, diabetes and obesity.

Japan’s workaholic culture and tradition of late-night drinks with colleagues may be hard to change. But according to The Japan Times, one solution might be for a daily “power nap” at the workplace in the afternoon “to restore energy, renew focus and improve mood.”

U.S. researchers have found that a power nap of 45 minutes to an hour can even help lower blood pressure. The concept of power napping has some famous advocates, from Britain’s Winston Churchill as well as Albert Einstein and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

So when the boss asks you why you are asleep at your desk after lunch, you have an excellent excuse. Just ask Tom Hanks.



The Japan Times ST: September 26, 2014

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