Why Does Japan Have a Sleep Deprivation Problem?

Japan, a destination very far away from one of the most reputable San Diego mattress stores, is one of the most sleep-deprived countries in the world. The average citizen only obtains 6 hours and 35 minutes of rest per night. We all know that most people should be sleeping at least 8 hours per night, so losing that additional hour and a half comes with dire consequences. Being the country with the longest expected lifespan, it is understandable how one can wonder why exactly this is. Though the Japanese are physically fit and have good diets, especially the elderly, things are not always so sunny for those who have not yet reached retirement age.


Japan is a country that highly values work. It is not merely a job, but it defines you. Many men work tirelessly long hours to support their wives and children. While plenty of Japanese women indeed works, the father’s role being the head of his household is predominant. In addition to this, many students don’t get enough sleep, either. Academics are highly emphasized among school-aged children. In the U.S. we hear plenty of stories about people who flunked out of school launching successful careers but don’t count on people in Japan being persuaded by those stories. Children are expected to attend classes and attend cram school afterward to prepare themselves for high school and university entrance exams.

People in Japan are even known to sleep while on the clock. This phenomenon is known as inemuri 居眠り (ee-neh-moo-ree). There have even been designated sleep areas for overtired working. Some offices have sleep pods, which are not as comfortable as a bed you can get from a quality San Diego mattress store, but when you’re tired, you’re ready to pass out on just about anything. However, just because it is an option doesn’t mean that other workers do not frown down upon using it, “you can feel some of the people on the Japanese side are judging us,” says Louis Lapouille, a French man who moved to Japan for work. Besides, nobody wants to pay you to sleep instead of getting what needs to be done, well, done.
It is not uncommon to see people sleeping on the trains and the shoulders of strangers on their way home. While this would probably give you a sock in the eye in New York City, it is not unusual in Japan.

In conclusion, Japan’s sleep deprivation problem is multifaceted, and the country has been struggling for years to find a solution. While there are many contributing factors, cultural norms and work ethic are two of the biggest reasons people in Japan don’t get enough sleep. Hopefully, as more people become aware of the importance of sleep, they will start to make changes that will help them get the rest they need. In the meantime, if you are in the area, be sure to check out some of the bargains you can get at some of the mattress stores in San Diego.