Most of us don't give much thought to the link between geographic location and sound sleep; however, research and scientific studies have shown the citizens of certain cities get more sleep per capita than others.
Where are those cities? What variables lead to the differences in sleep, and what can you do about it—other than move?
Those are excellent questions, ones we plan to address in this post.
Which Cities Get the Most Sleep?
According to a recent study, certain cities are ahead of the curve when it comes to getting enough sleep at night.
Users in Melbourne, Australia got the most sleep on the list with an average of 7 hours and 5 minutes per night, followed by a mix of cities in Europe and the U.S. While these cities got the most sleep overall, almost all cities on the list got less than the 7 hours recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. In their own study of American sleep patterns, the CDC found that 35.3% got fewer than 7 hours.
In addition to Melbourne, Australia the following cities clocked in with an average of around seven hours per night: London, United Kingdom (7:02); Denver, Colorado (7:02); Brisbane, Australia (7:00) Paris, France (7:00).
At the bottom of the list were Mexico City, Mexico (6:32); Singapore, Singapore (6:32); Dubai, United Arab Emirates (6:32); Seoul, South Korea (5:55); Tokyo, Japan (5:46).
What Variables Affect Sleep?
While it's clear people in some areas seem to be getting more overall sleep than others, the reasons behind this phenomenon are not so clear. Many variables factor into the equation, some of which can be tied directly to the rhythms of the city and some of which cannot. While researchers have not yet come to any conclusions regarding the sleep differences between specific towns (other than discovering they exist), they have made some headway in recognizing many individual variables.
One of the primary factors influencing how much sleep people get is their age. According to the National Sleep Foundation, while the need for specific amounts of sleep doesn't change as people age, their relationship to rest certainly does.
As people age they tend to have a harder time falling asleep and more trouble staying asleep than when they were younger...Studies on the sleep habits of older Americans show an increase in the time it takes to fall asleep (sleep latency), an overall decline in REM sleep, and an increase in sleep fragmentation (waking up during the night) with age. The prevalence of sleep disorders also tends to increase with age.
The lack of quality sleep as people age can be the result of factors that are physical (pain), mental (anxiety), pharmaceutical (side effects), or some combination of the three. Whatever the root cause, there is sufficient evidence to show age is a significant factor in determining how well people sleep at night.
In addition to age, digital media use plays a significant role in sleep quality. Digital media use is especially important to note given the exponential rise of handheld digital devices over the past ten years.
The vast majority of Americans–95%–now own a cellphone of some kind. The share of Americans that own smartphones is now 77%, up from just 35% in Pew Research Center's first survey of smartphone ownership conducted in 2011. (Science Direct)
These statistics require our attention. According to recent studies, more extended digital media use is directly tied to later bedtimes and shorter blocks of sleep, especially when the media use falls within two hours before bed. Therefore, whether or not people own digital devices and use them right before trying to sleep are both significant variables that affect rest.
There are other variables, of course, many of them deeply individualized. They include whether or not people are adequately hydrated, whether they share a bed with a partner, at what temperature they keep their rooms, and so forth.
Our purpose isn't necessarily to discuss every single variable that can affect people's overall sleep patterns but to highlight some of the more critical areas and explain what you can do with this information.
So, What Can I Do with This Information?
On the surface, it doesn't seem very helpful to know people in a city on the other side of the world are getting more sleep than you are. (Or possibly less. We don't know your life!) Unless you're willing to move, the knowledge that people in Melbourne, Australia are getting more sleep than you probably feels more like a taunt than anything else.
When viewed from the right angle, however, this information proves quite helpful. Once you're aware that people in certain cities can establish certain rhythms of work and rest, you're invited to examine your own life, asking critical questions regarding your schedule, lifestyle, and overall attitude toward sleep. If you're willing to tweak your routine and make a few changes, you may find rest is even more possible than you'd ever imagined.
In any event, take heart. Though the study on overall sleep times in different geographical locations is interesting, the differences uncovered are not very broad. The time between the best-rested Melbourne and the worst-rested Tokyo is roughly an hour and twenty minutes. As goals go, that's not an inconceivable amount of time to make up if we set our minds to it.
The good news is if you're looking to maintain better nightly sleep, both quality and quantity, you're not alone.
We're here to help.
Contact Us to Get More Sleep
While we don't have much say regarding which cities get more sleep, we here at Nest Bedding believe that no matter where our customers live, we can provide them with a mattress to help them reach their optimum rest potential, every night. That's why we offer premium mattresses at the best possible prices.
To talk to us about this or anything else. Or, to learn more about our product lines, please feel free to contact us.
You can also stop by one of our showrooms at any time! We endeavor to be helpful without being pushy, and we look forward to answering any questions you might have.