Exploring Sleep Around the World: A Cultural Journey into Bedtime Practices

Exploring Sleep Around the World: A Cultural Journey into Bedtime Practices

Sleep is a universal human experience, yet the way we approach, and view sleep can vary significantly from one culture to another. From bedtime rituals to cultural beliefs surrounding sleep, each society has its own unique relationship with rest and relaxation. In this blog, we'll take a cultural journey around the world to explore how different cultures view sleep, uncovering fascinating insights and traditions along the way. Through this exploration, we hope to gain a deeper understanding of the diverse ways in which sleep shapes our lives and societies.

Japan: Embracing the Art of Sleep Hygiene

In Japan, sleep is revered as a cornerstone of health and well-being. Traditional Japanese culture places great emphasis on the concept of "inemuri," which translates to "sleeping while present." Unlike in Western societies where sleeping in public may be frowned upon, in Japan, inemuri is widely accepted and even considered a sign of dedication and hard work. It's not uncommon to see commuters napping on trains or employees dozing off at their desks during breaks.

However, it's not just the acceptance of napping in public that sets Japanese sleep culture apart; it's also the emphasis on sleep hygiene. Japanese households often feature minimalist bedrooms with tatami mats, futon mattresses, and shoji screens to create a serene sleep environment free from distractions. Additionally, many Japanese people adhere to a strict bedtime routine, which may include bathing before bed and sipping on a cup of warm tea to promote relaxation.

India: Honouring the Spiritual Connection to Sleep 

In India, sleep is deeply intertwined with spirituality and tradition. In Hinduism, sleep is considered one of the three pillars of life, along with food and sex. It's viewed as a sacred act that allows the body and mind to rest and rejuvenate. In fact, the Hindu god Vishnu is often depicted reclining on the serpent Shesha, symbolizing the cosmic cycle of creation, preservation, and destruction.

In Indian culture, bedtime rituals are imbued with spiritual significance. Many families perform aarti, a ritual of waving lighted lamps before deities before bedtime to ward off negative energy and invite blessings for a peaceful sleep. Additionally, practices like meditation and reciting mantras are commonly incorporated into bedtime routines to quiet the mind and prepare for rest.

Sweden: Embracing the Concept of Lagom 

In Sweden, a country known for its emphasis on work-life balance and overall well-being, sleep is viewed as essential for maintaining harmony and lagom – a Swedish term that roughly translates to "just the right amount." Swedes prioritize quality sleep over quantity, recognizing that a well-rested mind and body are essential for productivity and happiness.

Swedish sleep culture is characterized by cosy bedtime rituals and a focus on comfort. Many Swedes indulge in a nightly ritual known as "mys," which involves snuggling up with loved ones, enjoying a cup of hot cocoa, and unwinding before bed. Additionally, Swedish bedrooms are often outfitted with plush bedding, soft lighting, and soothing decor to create a tranquil sleep environment conducive to relaxation.

Nigeria: Embracing Community and Connection through Sleep

In Nigeria, sleep is not just an individual pursuit but a communal experience that fosters connection and togetherness. Traditional Nigerian households often feature large, communal sleeping areas where family members sleep side by side, sharing stories, laughter, and dreams.

In Nigerian culture, bedtime is a time for bonding and community-building. Families gather to share meals, sing songs, and recount stories before settling down to sleep. The communal sleeping arrangement fosters a sense of closeness and security, reinforcing the importance of family and community ties.


From the bustling streets of Tokyo to the serene countryside of Sweden, sleep culture varies widely from one corner of the globe to another. Yet, despite these differences, one thing remains constant: the universal human need for rest and rejuvenation. Whether we're sipping tea before bed in Japan, practicing meditation in India, enjoying cosy bedtime rituals in Sweden, or sharing stories with loved ones in Nigeria, sleep serves as a common thread that binds us together as human beings.

At Sleep SMUG, we recognise the importance of sleep and strive to provide products that enhance the sleep experience for people around the world. From luxurious sleep masks to soothing aromatherapy candles, our products are designed to help you create your own personal oasis of relaxation and tranquillity, regardless of where you are or what cultural traditions you follow. So why wait? Explore our collection of sleep-related products today and embark on a journey to better sleep and a healthier, happier life.

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