Date: Oct 27, 2015
By: Ralph Jennings ,
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
Wake up and smell the Internet debate. So many Western people wonder why Asians
deftly sleep by day in public – in libraries, on buses and during classes – that some have started online forums to find out. One commentator launched a photo blog in March called Asians Sleeping on Public Transit and floats the idea of “genetic predisposition to narcolepsy.” A productivity-wary Western office manager with an Asian staff will be understandably perturbed.
What’s really going on? Sleep experts from Taiwan point to two causes that would apply here and throughout parts of East Asia where people doze off mid-day, far from their beds. One reason is childhood sleep habits, from chaotic nights to required naps. The other, disruptive nighttime noise in the major cities.
Kindergarten teachers in Taiwan lay down their children for 90 minutes to two hours per day after lunch. Elementary schools usually carry on that habit by requiring children to fold their hands over their desks and lower their heads. Some teachers inspect each submerged head and chastise any that stir. [FULL STORY]