We live in a global civilization, where we can virtually travel anywhere we’d like at the click of the mouse.
The internet allows us to communicate across borders and shows that the human race has much in common.
The same technology that shows us our similarities also exposes the surprising ways every culture is different, giving us a peek at other cultures’ random and quirky habits.
And in Japan, one particular work practice could raise a few eyebrows in other parts of the world.
Napping in public has been around since the dawn of civilization.
The idea of inemuri started during Japan’s post war economic boom.
It turned out to be Japan economic godsend in the 60s, 70s and 80s boosted the country massively.
For most, life was good.
More money was coming in; people had jobs and money to spend on leisure. However, people became extremely busy and never had time to get enough sleep.
Japanese workers are among the most sleep-deprived in the world, with an average of six hours and 22 minutes of sleep on the nights they work.
So you can’t really blame them for having a snooze during the work day.
“Inemuri,” means “being present while sleeping.”
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It’s OK to sleep at work in front of other employees, in meetings and other work-related gatherings — if you’re doing so because you work so hard that you can’t stay awake.
Rather than being a sign of laziness, it’s seen as a sign of dedication.
However, there are some rules: the higher your position at work is, the more freedom you have to sleep, and you have to look at least like you’re trying to be awake.
So, you can sleep sitting upright, but it’s frowned upon if you try to lie down anywhere.
More recently, Japanese companies have taken this further and encouraged naps, with some firms providing couches or cots.