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A study covering over 100+ countries across the world has revealed some insights as to how people sleep. The study conducted by a team from the University of Michigan used a smartphone app to collect the data.

It revealed:

  • Women generally sleep earlier and get up later than men and so having more sleep
  • Older people go sleep earlier
  • Dutch people sleep the most with the Japanese and Singaporeans the least

However, the most interesting finding was that whilst people would go to sleep and wake-up at times they choose for personal or social reasons, it is our biological internal clocks that actually dictate when we get up, thus sometimes causing a conflict.

Society is pushing us to stay up late, our [body] clocks are trying to get us up earlier and in the middle the amount of sleep is being sacrificed; that’s what we think is going on in global sleep crisis.


If you look at countries that are really getting less sleep then I’d spend less time worrying about alarm clocks and more about what people are doing at night – are they having big dinners at 22:00 or expected to go back to the office?

This conflict between when we actively choose to sleep vs. our internal biological clocks and how it affects us over time is not yet known. However, there has been a growing recognition on the impacts of sleep deprivation and what it does to your health. Sleep can be taken for granted, particular from the young male adults who sacrifice sleep to “do more”.

In reality, they are more likely performing far less – their perception skewing how they think they are performing. The trends in this study show how people in your country sleep and the people you surround yourself in your social circles may also dictate when you sleep and how you view “sleeping”. But regardless of social pressures or norms, what you cannot get away from is your own biology and what your body needs – plenty of regular sleep.

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