Japanese work napping ritual - Inemuri | Nilkamal Sleep
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Japanese work napping ritual - Inemuri

Japanese work napping ritual - Inemuri


The Inemuri technique of sleeping is vastly popular in Japan. If you ever happen to visit Japan you will observe a number of people sleeping on the subway, at park benches, coffee shops, etc. As you go on about your day you will notice that this becomes more normal and is very common. Whereas in most countries sleeping in public places or offices is considered embarrassing the Japanese practice this with utmost diligence. The Japanese prefer small naps on the subways, parks, offices, etc. instead of a proper adequate hour of sleep on a bed mattress. The word Inemuri translates to “present while sleeping”. The Japanese believe that one can fulfil the required amount of sleep in a day by taking short naps during their working or travelling hours. 

The Japanese are not sleepers. This is a popular statement by many, especially the Japanese. Of course, this is not true. However, it is very interesting as a sociological and cultural statement. Daily life in Japan is fairly hectic. The concept of overtime is very common. A working individual in Japan is said to work for over 10 hours each day. Their schedules are filled with work appointments as well as leisure activities giving them very less time to get a healthy good night’s sleep.          

Where does the Inemuri technique have its roots?

Japanese are known to have been taking odd naps since the dawn of civilization but it was during the post-war economic boom in Japan that the Inemuri technique took off. Japan's economic miracle of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s saw the country grow rapidly and establish itself as one of the major powers in the world. People lived a fulfilling life with high-paying jobs, more wealth, and more time for leisure. But soon this leads to people working day and night to keep their status. The Japanese take pride in themselves to be known as one of the most hardworking nations. They have been famous for ditching their mattress for a long time.

Why does Inemuri have a greater acceptance in Japan as compared to other countries?

Japan creates an environment in which many contributing factors come together to help fit Inemuri comfortably. The Japanese have essentially more hardworking people as compared to the United States of America and Europe. Overtime is a very common work culture among the Japanese. The second most typical setting in which Inemuri is present is in the early morning hours in the nightlife districts of Shinjuku and Shibuya. The Japanese rely greatly on public transportation. After a night of drinking, it's usual to find guys sleeping on steps, public benches, or even the floor while they wait for the trains to resume service. 

The relationship between FOMO and Inemuri

The 21st-century phenomenon known as FOMO or “fear of missing out” plays a huge role in the increasing growth of Inemuri where people prefer getting less sleep on their mattresses and more on uncomfortable spots. This also comes from people not wanting to miss out on leisurely activities or important events. The Japanese choose to sacrifice their sleep and not miss out on fun activities or events. In the modern era, the activities have also doubled leaving it impossible for one not to experience FOMO. There are so many opportunities out there that time has become a constraint. This is where Inemuri enters the picture. To be 'present even while sleeping' - even if they are napping on the train after a late night of work, or dozing through that early morning meeting, the possibility to be present is much more real.  

What are some of the benefits that Inemuri possesses?

Tiredness and illness are often seen as negative aspects in western countries. However, Inemuri bursts this myth as the Japanese believe that if someone looks tired in the day that might be because of the prolonged work he has done during the night. As a result, the Japanese practice of inemuri does not necessarily indicate a proclivity for laziness. Instead, it is an informal aspect of Japanese social life designed to ensure the execution of regular obligations by providing a method to be temporary 'away' from these duties. Therefore, it is apparent that the Japanese do not sleep. They don't take naps. They practice inemuri. It couldn't be more dissimilar.

Is Inemuri considered as actual sleep?

This experience of sleeping in the presence of others as a child, however, is insufficient to explain the widespread tolerance of inemuri, particularly at school and in the workplace. Inemuri is not a type of sleep at all. It is perceived as distinct from not only nighttime sleep in bed but also from taking an afternoon nap or power nap.   

Conclusion- What can we learn from the practice of Inemuri?

Sleeping is a basic human requirement, and it is widely accepted that humans require 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day on average. Getting adequate rest isn't always easy in our modern hectic lifestyle, and sleep loss can lead to major health concerns. Dr. Sara Mednick, a sleep researcher based in the United States, thinks that 40-60% of the world's adult population sleeps. She claims that if the rest of us slept, we would be more productive and effective at work and at home. Companies around the world are increasingly encouraging workplace naps as it is a cheap and practical method to productivity. You can buy a comfortable bed mattress and pillows for a tight sleep only from Doctor Dreams!

Also Read : Suffering From Sleeping Disorders? Here’s What You Should Do. – Doctor Dreams

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