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Sleep and Culture

It is known that sleep plays an important role in the life of any individual. Sleep problems create serious psychiatric disorders, lack of attention and inadequate behavior. As for me, my typical sleep habits over the course of the week were different. For example, I sleep longer on weekends, because I have no opportunity to sleep longer on weekdays. As a rule, I get up and go to bed at approximately the same time every day. I try to get up early in the morning. However, sometimes I go to bed rather late at night, what leads to sleeplessness. I know that it is good to take a nap during the day, but, unfortunately, I have no opportunity to take naps regularly. In case, I have my free time and I am too tired, I’ll be happy to take a nap.

I am sure that my sleep habits are influenced by biological, environmental, and cultural factors. First of all, biological factors of young people and adults are not the same. It is found that biological clock changes its work in adolescence. That is why most adults are inclined to stay in bed longer than the young people. (Martel, 2011, para.3) As a rule, they sleep 7-8 hours. Older adults require brief naps during the day. So, my sleep habits are influenced by biological factor. Secondly, environmental factor which includes different stressful situations, failures, quarrels influence my sleep habits. Thirdly, cultural factors influence my sleep habits. According to my cultural development, I have not been taught to take naps during the day. I believe my sleep habits exist as they do because they are developed for generations. Moreover, I am sure that my sleep practices are typical for my culture because most representatives of my culture have the same sleep habits.

The article Sleep Patterns of Urban School-Going Adolescents in India written by a group of Indian specialists from Delhi University of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital discusses sleep habits of adolescents of different high school grades who live in urban India. The participants of the study were adolescents of higher grades, including 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th grades. They were given instructions to answer the questions concerning sleep habits in questionnaire. The period of time used in the study was six months. The study analyzed total duration of sleep in a day, time to bed, sleep latency, nocturnal awakenings, and so on. The procedure used to study them gave the following results: adolescents of higher grades had lesser sleep time than other grades, and felt sleepy during the day. It means that they did not take napping during the day, although smaller grades took regular daytime napping.

Moreover, total sleep time of participants decreased with the higher grades. In this case, cultural, behavioral and environmental factors influenced the sleep practices. I believe that culture plays an important role in sleep practices. It is found that “daytime napping is culturally accepted in Asian culture”, but it lessens the total sleep of adolescents. (Gupta et al, 2008, p.187) The cultural influence in this example is similar to the cultural influence on sleep in my culture.



Gupta, R., Bhatia, M., Chhabra, V., Sharma, S., Dahya, D., Semalti, K., Sapra, R., Dua, R. (2008) Sleep Patterns of School-Going Adolescents in India. Indian Pediatrics. Vol.45., March 17, 2008. Retrieved from:<http://www.indianpediatrics.net/mar2008/183.pdf>
Martel, J. (2011) Adolescent Sleeping Habits. Ehow.com. April 12, 2011. Retrieved from:< http://www.ehow.com/info_8210824_adolescent-sleeping-habits.html>