Most people in China prefer to sleep on a firm mattress, claiming it is better for their backs. They believe the back remains properly aligned, with no sinkage throughout the night, if it is well supported. Asians are also the most likely ethnic group to say they get a good night's sleep at least a few nights or more a week.
In Bali, some have developed the ability to instantly fall into a deep sleep through meditation. This cultural phenomenon allows the Indonesians to escape stressful situations, and helps erase a fear response.
Sleeping with Pets
In the United States, 71 percent of the population allows pets to sleep in bed with them. Despite the naysayers, Mayo Clinic has discovered that the majority of people who do this receive a better night's sleep.
In Japan, there is a culture of sleeping while on the job, in public or at a party. Unlike Western culture, where falling asleep at your desk is taboo, the Japanese perceive it as a show of how tired a person is from working so hard.
It is common practice in Japan to sleep on a very thin mattress over a tatami mat, made of rice straw and woven with soft rush grass. The Japanese believe this practice will help your muscles relax, allowing for a natural alignment of your hips, shoulders and spine.
In Spain, there is a tradition of taking a 20- to 30-minute nap after lunch. This is a custom that dates back to the mid-20th century, primarily for people working in agricultural jobs who need to avoid the hottest hours of the day. However, the practice has become less popular with the urbanization of Spain.
Norway / Sweden
Al Fresco Naps
In Scandinavian counties, parents often leave their babies outdoors to nap, even in the winter. They believe the fresh air is good for them and helps keep young children from getting sick. Additionally, Norwegian research suggests that it increases the length and quality of their sleep.
Sleeping with Fewer Sheets
Most Europeans do not sleep with a top sheet. They will often sleep on a fitted sheet and cover themselves with a comforter or duvet to help keep cooler in the summer and warmer during winter time.
Indigenous people of Guatemala's highlands create "worry dolls" to help them sleep. According to legend, the worry doll represents the wisdom of a Mayan princess who received a gift from the sun god that allowed her to solve any problem imaginable.
In the UK, around 30% of the population sleeps naked to promote a better night's sleep. Brits, in particular, believe it lowers body temperature levels, which allows for a deeper sleep and promotes anti-aging.
South & Central America
In South and Central America, hammocks are a common means for sleep, dating back 700 years. While there is no scientific evidence to suggest a better night's sleep, hammocks were generally used to keep people safe from smaller animals and insects in ancient times.
In Australia, co-sleeping is popular within Aboriginal communities. Beds or mattresses are lined up in a row with the strongest people sleeping on the ends, protecting young children or elderly in the middle.