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Sleeping as a Hobby


A fair amount of time is spent by native English teachers in Japan practicing English conversation skills with their students.  One of the most standard questions you will hear over and over again when meeting a person for the first time is "What is your hobby?"

You've probably heard it a thousand times, but only teachers in Japan know not to act surprised when someone replies that their hobby is "sleeping."

What is a hobby, anyway?  Wikipedia tells me that it's a regular activity or interest that is undertaken for pleasure, typically done during one's leisure time.  Sleeping is certainly a regular activity (one can only hope), and I'm sure most people truly look forward to it each day.  I am not certain that you could say the time you spend sleeping through the night is leisure time, but if you are doing what you love, who's to say it's not a time of leisure

They say that you always want what you don't have, so maybe that's the case in Japan, where apparently less than half the population gets less than 6 hours of sleep at night.  This chart may give some perspective as to why so many Japanese students consider sleeping as one of their favorite hobbies.

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