Sleeping problem

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Japan has a sleeping problem. On the face of it, you might think that the sleeping problem was that people were getting too much sleep. It is a high trust society, so you occasionally see drunks safely left alone where they are to sleep. A drunken salary man can rent a catacomb like sleeping capsule to crash out, if they can’t make it home. You see people sleeping on the commuter train in the morning.

But that is only half the story of sleep in Japan. In a society famous for its neon cities, long office hours, high stress levels and horrendous commutes. Since the start of the economic miracle there were some who indulged in even more methamphetamine abuse than an Australian roadtrain driver. And some parents enroll offspring in cramming programmes for infant schoolchildren.

You may expect insomnia to be a problem. You’d be right.

Its also big business, Matsushita (the mega-corp behind Panasonic, Technics and JVC) will be launching later this year a ‘sleeping room package’ that consists of a plasma screen TV, a tricked-out bed and ambient sound recordings. This is expected to sell for about 20,000 GBP.

In the UK we have an assortment of reality TV shows to send us to sleep. For more Japan related content click here.