Practices and traditions differ from one area to another. For instance, the Japanese’s customs vary from the United States’ traditions. Some traditions are strange and can only be observed by those involved such as sleeping on the floor is commonly practiced by the Japanese, while sleeping on the bed is mostly found in western countries such as the United States.
There are several reasons why Japanese sleep on the floor. The reasons include cultural beliefs and traditions, customs, and the advantages of sleeping on the floor compared to sleeping on the bed. Japanese people use beddings such as a Tatami mat spread on the floor before placing any mattress. Shiki futon, a mattress spread on top of the Tatami mat, and finally, the Kake futon, a duvet that is traditionally manufactured and acts as a blanket.
Reasons why Japanese sleep on the floor
There are several reasons why Japanese people prefer sleeping on the floor to sleeping on beds.
- Cooling mechanism found on the floor
Generally, house floors are cooler when compared to other parts. The lower you are to the ground, the cooler it becomes. In Japan, people experience a lot of heat which increases the sweating rate, especially during summer. Sleeping on the floor provides a cooling mechanism encouraging the Japanese people to adopt the idea of sleeping on the floor.
The price of the Tatami mat differs from the price of the western bed. It is costly to buy a bed and the bedding together; hence difficult to save some money for future use. For instance, the cost of buying a bed is $1,000, which is higher than the cost of buying floor beddings.
The cost of buying the Tatami mat, Shiki futon, and Kake futon are $1,000, which is relatively lower than that of the bed. The floor beddings exist everywhere, and the cost is friendly to all customers.
- The transition of weather seasons
In Japan, different seasons come at different times of the year. The commonly experienced seasons include; winter and summer seasons. During summer, there is too much heat production, and during winter, it is cold.
Further, the Japanese people change the floor beddings depending on the season. If it is summer, light floor beddings allow the users to sleep safely without sweating. If it is winter, people consider using heavier beddings to keep the body warm and prevent diseases like the common cold.
- Cultural beliefs and traditions
Japanese people believe in their Tatami culture and have developed a close relationship with the floors. For instance, the Japanese people will cook their traditional food and eat while sitting on the Tatami mats or the floor since the country strongly practices the culture even though some people have started adopting the idea of buying and using a bed, the majority of the people still believe in the existence of Tatami culture. Also, the belief that they must keep the culture running through all generations.
- Floor safety
Japanese people value the floor more than anything. The Japanese believe that placing a bed or any furniture such as chairs can damage the floor since most floors are made from compressed rice straw. The Japanese people make their Tatami floor from rice straw, which differs from other floors such as tiles and concrete.
- Natural disasters and safety
Frequent earthquakes are natural disasters that mainly affect Japanese people. The earthquakes are strong enough and affect unprotected buildings within the country. They have come up with different protective mechanisms, such as sleeping on the floor to enable them to leave the house in case of an earthquake.
Also, the people have manufactured furniture that suits their houses and cannot be affected by natural disasters such as an earthquake. In addition to that, the Japanese people have built strong and well-protected houses to reduce damages that may arise in the case of an earthquake.
- Country vacancy
Japanese country is a small country with many people. Lack of space in the country has forced many Japanese people to have room to rest at night, relax, eat and cook their meals. The space is limited; hence it cannot support the western bed because it is big and occupies a lot of space, unlike the Tatami mat and tinny Shiki futon mattress.
- Healthy advantages
Japanese people prefer sleeping on the floor as it improves the spinal cord state, improving your standing or sitting posture. Also, sleeping on the floor allows blood to circulate freely since your body weight does not accumulate in the line place. Sleeping on the floor allows you to position yourself and lie on one side, preventing health conditions such as blood clotting.
People who should sleep on the floor
Despite sleeping on the floor containing many advantages and being cheaper, some people are not fit to sleep on the floor because the floor is hard, unlike the western bed. The majority of such people have health issues such as individuals with allergies, individuals who usually wake up at night when it is cold, older people, and individuals with bone disorders.
Advantages of sleeping on the floor
There are many health advantages of sleeping on the floor. Such advantages include;
- Improves blood circulation hence reducing the breathing struggles that can arise from the poor sleeping posture.
- Prevents occurrences of neck pains such as whiplash and spinal pains.
- It helps you gain adequate sleep and wake up early to carry out normal routines.
- Improves the spinal cord condition and your posture.
Cons of sleeping on the floor
Despite many advantages, there are also some disadvantages of sleeping on the floor. The following are the cons of sleeping on the floor;
- Lack of privacy since many people share the same single room, and the room performs many functions such as eating, preparing food, relaxing, and even sleeping.
- Compared to cozy beds, sleeping on the floor is not as comfortable as sleeping on the bed. Cozy beds contain cozy pillows which enable you to sleep without any neck pains.
- Use more energy anytime you want to roll and unroll all the beddings. Also, rolling the beddings daily from and to the floor wastes a lot of time.
- The floor usually contains many bedbugs, unlike western beds.
Frequently asked questions:
- What are the advantages of using Shikifuton and Kakefuton in Japan?
Both Shikifuton and Kakefuton are most preferred in Japan due to the following advantages.
- Both futons are simple to use and roll every time you want to use them. Moreover, the futons are portable, and therefore, they are movable from one place to another.
- They are readily available for anyone to buy.
- The futon beddings are sold at an affordable price when compared to cozy bed beddings.
- Both futons enable you to sleep comfortably and reduce back and neck pains such as whiplash.
- They are made up of pure cotton, which reduces work involving frequent washing and drying.
- Both futons can be used for different purposes apart from being used as beddings.
Japanese believe that sleeping on the floor is more advantageous than sleeping on the western bed. From the research done, it is evident that sleeping on the floor has many benefits, especially in health. Despite the many advantages, there are disadvantages such as increased bed bugs.
Further, the article above explains why Japanese people prefer sleeping on the floor rather than on the bed. The reasons include culture, space, natural disasters, among others. Finally, it is advisable to try sleeping on the floor rather than sleeping on the bed continuously.