Sleep Deprivation in Japan

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Japan has been known to have a sleep problem within its country. Citizens get less sleep comparatively than any country. Most citizens in Japan get under the 7 hours of recommended sleep each night and some even get less than 6 hours. Altogether Japan averages a mere 7 hours and 24 minutes of sleep. The Japanese must solve this issue as it affects not only their citizens but the country and countries in trade with Japan. It is a problem that affects us all in the long run when Japan influences trade amongst other countries. The sleep deprivation issue has developed into a crisis because the deprivation is causing major accidents, citizens are developing chronic sleep disorders, and manufacturing rates have decreased.

Japan's culture impacts how citizens sleep and sleep is an important function that humans need. Today Japan accepts the fact that citizens do not get enough sleep at night. The overall work drains society and Japan has accepted that. In Yasu Shimizu's article she states Japanese people think it is very natural to sleep on trains. They would actually be surprised to hear that people elsewhere do not fall asleep in trains. It is not hard to find people sleeping in public. Society is furthermore weakened by the sleep loss. Japanese people themselves often wonder why they become so sleepy in trains as well. There are scientific reasons. It is mainly the white noise, vibrations and subtle shaking of trains that make people sleepy. Some scholars say it is because of 1/f fluctuation. Therefore, it is natural that people become sleepy (Shimizu). The combined haul of the day with daily commands to sleep makes it no wonder the Japanese sleep so much in public.

Sleep deprivation can have bad effects on the human body. It can for one thing increase weight gain and increase risk for heart disease. A study published in American Journal of Epidemiology found information suggesting that weight gain and sleep loss are connected. Of the 68,183 women who reported habitual sleep duration in 1986 were followed for 16 years. In analyses adjusted for age and body mass index, women sleeping 5 hours or less gained 1.14 kg (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.49, 1.79) more than did those sleeping 7 hours over 16 years (Patel, 2006). Showing how sleep loss can cause problems besides just feeling sleepy.

When low on sleep one feels drowsy, but they may experience problems cognitively as well. A controlled experiment on sleep was conducted by two men known as Patrick and Gilbert in 1869 almost a century in later times at the University of Iowa. Gilbert and Patrick observed three young adults four times a day for a complete 90 hours of sustained awake fullness. The two observed declines in cognitive function ranging from sensory acuity to memorization. This astoundingly insightful 19th century report contains five crucial observations that have withstood the test of time and replication, but that have not always been recognized (Monk 100). It is clear that with less sleep the human body has exponential problems coping throughout the day.

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Sleep Deprivation in Japan. (2019, Aug 12). Retrieved December 1, 2023 , from

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