One thing that’s always amazed me about Thais is how much they can sleep. For most westerners, a good night’s sleep is anything around seven to nine hours. For a Thai, 12 hours is often the definition of a good night’s sleep.
I once did a survey where I asked 50 Thai friends and acquaintances “How many hours sleep do you get during the week and how many on the weekend?”
During the week I got the standard answer of six to eight hours – pretty much the norm with other cultures around the world. But……on weekends and holidays, that average number of hours slept skyrocketed up to “ten to thirteen”. Yes, thirteen hours. Go to bed at midnight get up at 1pm the following day.
You will also see Thais sleeping in odd places, even in the middle of the day – just to catch up on a bit more sleep.
They sleep on buses and sky trains (yet never seem to miss their stop! — how do they do that?), on their breaks at work, at their desk and even lying on the floor in the middle of a busy market with customers stepping over them (I almost trod on a Thai woman once who was fast asleep underneath a rack of clothing in her shop at Chatuchak Market – at 2pm).
But, for those of us who think six to eight hours is a good night’s sleep, every day, then there is a definite advantage to the Thais’ long sleeping habits.
If you want to visit a popular tourist place in Thailand, a busy shopping mall, a packed market, it is pretty much guaranteed if you get there before 12pm you’ll have so much more room to move around. Why? Because most of Thailand is still in bed and won’t venture out of the house until lunchtime.