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App Reveals World’s Sleep Habits

The use of various fitness and sleep apps continues to grow more popular around the world, and there is no end in sight. From downloads on our Android and iPhone devices to separate fitness bands and monitors that have become part of our nightly routines, we seem universally obsessed with quantify everything about our lives, from the calories that we consume and the number of steps that we take to the length of time that we spend in each sleep cycle and what time we wake up in the morning. Despite the fact that we all think of ourselves as extremely tech savvy, few people stop to realize that the information that is being collected and provided back to us is also accessible to the owners and operators of the applications and devices themselves. But it’s true. With the advent of sleep sensor apps, “He knows when you’ve been sleeping” is no longer just the realm of Santa Claus. We’re not saying that the app developers are using the information for nefarious purposes … we’re just sayin’.

As if to remind us that the information being collected is available for view, every once in a while one of the app companies will release a report on the information that they’ve gathered. This week the makers of the Sleep Cycle app have published a blog post in which they compare the information they’ve collected on the way that the people of different nations sleep. The data is interesting, although sleep experts are quick to point out that users of sleep and fitness apps are likely not representative of a community as a whole, as those who are monitoring their sleep and health are more likely to be taking care of themselves and working to improve negative habits. With that being said, here are some of the more interesting items from their blog:

  • Saturday mornings are the mornings that Americans wake up happiest and in the best mood. This differs from the rest of the world, where most people wake up in their best mood on Sunday mornings.
  • The people of Switzerland appear to take the most advantage of their weekend opportunities to sleep in – they spend an extra 41 minutes in bed on Saturdays, while their neighbors in Finland clock in right behind them with an extra 39 minutes of sleep.
  • Though sleepers in the United States do not achieve the same extended weekend sleep as their European friends, on average we log a none-too-shabby 30 minutes of extra sleep as compared to the rest of the week. Our best and longest sleep happens from Friday night into Saturday morning.
  • Looking at overall sleep quantity, the nations that seem to have the longest average sleep quality are Slovakia, followed by China, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
  • The nation that awakens earliest each day is South Africa.
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