Healthy Habits and Practices You’ll Only Find Exclusively in Japan
From their sleeping habits to their approach to exercise, the Japanese have developed practices that differ from the rest of the world. Today we investigated the reason behind the most unusual habits and practices that you’ll only find in Japan. And there’s an interesting bonus for you at the end of the article.
They sleep separately.
The first thing that makes Japanese couples decide to go to bed separately is different work schedules. Waking up your significant other just because you got home late from work or have to leave early won’t result in good quality rest for them. This is why spending the night in a different room makes sense. This will give them both an undisturbed and healthier sleep.
Japanese mothers sleep with their children and this is considered very important, so the father needs to decide if he wants to share the same bed or go to a different room. Even science has proven that co-sleeping can help parents and children get a more restful sleep. It helps the child to maintain a stable temperature and heart rate (which is really critical in infancy) and at the same time, it decreases the chance of sudden infant death syndrome. Also, this contributes to the child having better self-esteem, becoming independent faster, and doing great in school.
They sleep on the floor.
Sleeping on the ground has some pretty impressive health benefits. Sleeping on a hard, flat surface is good for your back, and may free you of pain that’s been with you for years. While sleeping on a soft bed surely feels comfy, your mattress may start to sink down over time, causing your spine to curve and leading to back pain. In fact, medical experts even recommend placing plywood under your mattress if it’s too soft. Sleeping on the floor will also keep your spine aligned and prevent your body from twisting into an unnatural position.
When you sleep on the floor, it enhances your blood flow, because your weight is distributed evenly and there’s less pressure on different parts of your body. Sleeping in a natural position will also prevent the numbness and tingling caused by poor circulation. For example, if you sleep curled up on your side the blood gets circulated and then flows back to your heart, causing various health problems, like blood clots and varicose veins.
They prefer walking over exercise.
It’s well-known that the Japanese like to stay active all their life. One of their favorite sports is walking. They can still chat during it, so it’s a combination of profit and pleasure: “You walk, you talk, you get exercise and that helps build up a sense of community.”
They don’t drink water with meals.
When you go to a restaurant in a Western country, your server will likely give you a large glass of water with ice and lemon slices. Japanese restaurants tend not to serve their patrons as much water. the Japanese believe that drinking too much can make it difficult for your body to digest that day’s meal.
When you drink water with your meal, your saliva gets diluted. This, in turn, affects the release of gastric juices responsible for digesting food. As a result, your stomach gets weaker signals to break down food, which can lead to bloating.
Moreover, having water with meals adds volume to your stomach and increases the pressure on it, much like a large meal would. This, in turn, can worsen certain health conditions and increase the risk of acid reflux. Because drinking water during meals causes your body to secrete fewer digestive enzymes, it can lead to a chain reaction of side effects, including heartburn.
Bonus: They don’t tip.
Attention, travelers to Japan: leave those extra yen at home. In Japanese culture, service is an integral part of the job, and it’s not necessary to tip as a way to show appreciation. In fact, it may be seen as a sign of disrespect, as it implies that the person providing the service is hoping for some extra money rather than doing their job with pride.