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Advocates of good sleep

This week My friend Mai invited me to IKEA press release event. They have started a nationwide campaign advocating good sleep and promoting soothing solutions for neglected Japanese bedrooms. I was particularly interested to check it out because I am in the market for a new mattress. Ever since I started co-sleeping with my baby.. well, let’s just say my mattress is not what it used to be. ^-^


When I arrived at the conference hall I was pleasantly surprised to see that all the sitting area was filled with IKEA beds of different sizes and forms representing their wide range of frames and mattresses as well as textiles.

Sari Holopainen – marketing director of IKEA Japan

Sari’s keynote speech revealed what I had suspected long time ago. She proved my theory about Japanese people not having enough sleep. There was a recent post on Facebook’s Tokyo mothers group that discussed international sleeping values and habits. Apparently, Australia is a very sleep-conscious country. They think babies absolutely need to sleep long hours to develop to their full potential. In Japan, mothers tend to be more liberal when it gets to sleep. I often fall asleep at 11PM hearing babies cry outside of my window, wondering why they are still up and about. When I was struggling to make my newborn baby sleep during the day, I was desperately seeking any kind of advice from my “sempai” mother friends. I clearly remember Japanese mommies dismissing my worries completely whereas my Australian and Croatian friends wrote me “war and peace” long letters explaining every single sleep-inducing trick they knew..
So, according to IKEA’s research, Japanese people sleep on average 5-6 hours, much less than the rest of the world. In a country where people don’t take long vacations, it is only natural that they also don’t sleep enough. Afterwar math made “rest” almost a taboo. Even nowadays, when you ask a Japanese person why he or she doesn’t go home at the end of a working day or take holidays they are likely to answer “yasumitsurai” – it is hard to take rest. They are afraid to be judged by not being a good team player, to stand out from the rest. As a result, they don’t focus on their private lives and often have a hard time creating families which results in population crisis and greatly influences all other socioeconomic aspects of modern Japan.
So, IKEA is making an effort to change that. They think that by creating a relaxing “want-to-come-back-to” sort of environment in a bedroom, people will be more interested in changing their lifestyles for the better. IKEA’s bedrooms are always nicely coordinated. They offer many ideas on how to style a bedroom using textiles, lighting and other accessories. I often flip through IKEA catalogs for inspiration.
What I didn’t know was how really cheap their mattresses are. From my experience mattresses are never cheap even at the cheapest furniture store. I was shocked to learn IKEA prices. For 30000 yen I can have a complete bed including all the textiles. I haven’t tried all the mattresses at the event, but the ones I did sit on where of a nice quality. Plus, I learned that IKEA offers 90 day return policy and give 25 years guarantee on all their mattresses. All IKEA jokes aside, this is some serious business. I think I am going to try one of their mattresses this time. I can always return it if I don’t like it. That is a super cool policy that I absolutely have to take advantage of. ^-^

IKEA bedroom set

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. it’s really interesting that japanese people sleep so little!
    Great blog!

    October 14, 2013
    • Tokyoholic #

      Thank you Sanja, I like yours too!

      October 15, 2013

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