Dutch people sleep longer than anyone else in the world
People in the Netherlands sleep longer than people in any other country, according to a recent study published by Science Advances magazine.
The Dutch sleep an average of eight hours and 12 minutes per night. The biggest factor influencing sleep is the culture of a country, superseding people’s biological rhythms, according to the University of Michigan researchers who conducted the study.
Culture influences sleep patterns
In the Netherlands, the period between the evening meal and bedtime is the longest, which has a beneficial effect on sleep.
A country’s average bedtime, but not average wake time, predicts sleep duration, the study concludes. Going to bed late has a bigger detrimental effect on a person’s sleep than getting up very early in the morning.
People in France and New Zealand receive the most amount of sleep after the Netherlands, while the Spanish go to bed the latest.
Japanese people sleep an average of seven hours and 24 minutes, making them the country with the shortest night rest on average.
Gender and age factors
The study found that women routinely sleep more than men, with middle-aged men getting the least of all.
Age was also an important factor, as sleep schedules among 55-year-olds and above were more similar than for people younger than 30.
The research suggests that the closer a person gets to retirement age, the earlier they go to bed. Interestingly, they found that people who typically get outdoor light go to sleep earlier and sleep longer than people who get indoor light.
Research via smartphone app
5.450 people in more than 100 countries made their sleeping data available through the Ertain smartphone app. The app was developed in 2014 to help people prevent jetlag. It tracks the age, gender, the number of daylight hours and how it affects sleeping patterns.
Using the app to gather data was an effective and affordable research method. The researchers said that conducting a similar study the traditional way would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.