Have you heard that the French sleep well at night? The world is watching France for tips on everything from wine to weight loss, so it isn’t shocking that some people also wonder how much they sleep and what bedtime habits they may follow. It turns out that the French enjoy a slower-paced lifestyle that places greater emphasis on rest. If you want to sleep like a French person, you will have to learn how to stress less and relax more.
Time Between the Sheets
If your goal is to sleep French, start by spending a little more time snuggled up in bed. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development did the research to see which countries get the most snooze time, and France was one of the most highly rested destinations on the list. They found that French people spend close to nine hours sleeping each night, which was slightly higher than the hours Americans were found to sleep.
The question is whether you really need nine hours of sleep every night. This is a personal. You may find that you feel well-rested and energetic with six or seven hours of sleep while someone else needs eight or nine hours. What you can learn from the French is the importance of sleep. They make more time for rest because it’s important to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s worth the effort to ensure that you’re getting adequate time between the sheets as well.
Embrace the Siesta
If your current sleep schedule is a far cry from nine hours per night, you can find ways to gradually increase your sleeping hours. You can also give yourself a quick boost by adopting the siesta. This is a short daytime nap that is considered a part of healthy living in France and many other countries. The nap can last for two or three hours, and it’s common for people to completely undress just as they would for nighttime sleeping.
If you’re thinking that you have a job, children, and other responsibilities that just won’t understand your desire to siesta, there are other ways to benefit from this laid-back French attitude. Many French businesses close down for two to four hours every afternoon, giving workers the chance to eat lunch and spend time with friends and family. This is also considered a form of siesta. It’s a general attitude of slowing down to enjoy life.
A more relaxed mentality may be just what you need to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer when it is time to rest. Look for ways to incorporate more relaxation or social time into your day, and you’re likely to find ways to siesta with the best of them.
The Fitness Mindset
There are plenty of diets that mimic the eating habits of French women, but the way French people incorporate fitness into their daily lives should interest you even more. While some people from France probably struggle to fit exercise into their daily lives, it’s just common for French women to incorporate physical activity into their everyday routines. They may do squats, jumping jacks, and other movements throughout the day rather than waiting until they have a full hour to spend in the gym.
This likely has a big impact on the quality of sleep that these French women enjoy. As they burn more calories and generate more activity-induced energy throughout the day, they’re wearing their bodies down so that they’re ready to sleep at bedtime. This level of activity is also a great way to fight obesity, and you have a much lower risk of developing sleep apnea if you maintain a healthy body weight. A healthy body translates to healthy sleep.
If it’s true that the French sleep well, it’s just as true that people from all areas of the world have the potential to sleep just as well. The French aren’t doing anything that you can’t do right now in your daily life. Make sleep a priority when scheduling your days, try to slow down and enjoy your life, and think of fitness as a natural part of life rather than one more thing that you have to fit in. It really does come down to stressing less and relaxing more.