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Sleep Rhythms of Cities

October 27, 2014

Sleep Rhythms of Cities

The activity and sleep patterns of a city can tell incredible stories about a city’s culture and the people who inhabit it. They reveal the movement and rhythm of a city: when people go to bed, how much they sleep and how they change their patterns from week to weekend.

Tech-device maker Jawbone, creators of a wearable fitness tracker called UP, has put together some data on the sleeping patterns of cities. The trackers can keep track of activity, such as how many steps people walk per day, their diet and their sleeping habits. By using data collected from wearers across the world the device shows users how to make simple adjustments to their lives that help them become healthier. Jawbone found that each pattern is distinct and tells us about the unique ways that citizens choose to live their lives.

They have found that people in Tokyo sleep least at only about 5 hours and 44 minutes per night. People in Melbourne sleep the most at 6 hours and 58 minutes on average. Brisbane is earliest to bed at 10:57pm and they are also earliest to rise at 6:29am. New York shows similar statistics. They are also among the first to bed and the first to rise. People in Moscow go to bed latest at 12:46am. They are not surprisingly also the latest to rise at 8:08am. Dubai has the most relaxed sleep schedule, with 10% of UP users still asleep by 11 in the morning. In Beijing workers take afternoon naps at their workplace. People in Madrid log their afternoon naps or siestas, but it seems that it is becoming more common to only take them over weekends. No major city in the USA averaged above a recommended seven hours of sleep per night, while suburban and rural counties showed much healthier sleeping habits.

Jawbone’s investigation has found that geography has a massive effect on our routines and habits. Our sleep cycles are still shaped by daylight, by work and the amount of leisure activities available in an area. We adapt to the pace and lifestyle of our environment.

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