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In most countries sleeping at work is not only embarrassing, it might even cost one’s job. But in Japan, sleeping in the office is common and is socially accepted. In fact, it is often seen as a sign of diligence, as in—”the person is so dedicated to their job that they worked themselves to exhaustion.”

And it is not untrue. Japan is one of the most sleep-deprived nation in the world. One study suggests that an average Japanese sleep only 6 hours and 35 minutes each night. Hence most fall asleep during commute or at work, in parks, in coffee shops, in bookstores, in shopping malls, and in any other public place. It is so widespread and so normal, that the Japanese have a word for it—inemuri, which means “present while sleeping.”

inemuri-1

Photo credit: hiroo yamagata/Flickr

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