Koreans increasingly spend Friday nights catching up on some badly needed sleep rather than going out for a stiff drink, a poll suggests. SK Planet surveyed 1,017 adults in early August, and 44.2 percent said Friday night is the best time of the week to catch up on lost sleep.
According to OECD data last year, Koreans sleep just seven hours and 41 minutes a day, compared to the average eight hours and 22 minutes in the rich nations' club. Koreans sleep even less than in 2014 (seven hours and 49 minutes), and the number of people suffering from sleep disorders rose a whopping 60 percent from 2010 to 2015.
Why? Many are kept awake by TV or mobile entertainment. In the latest poll, 30.7 percent blamed stress for their lack of sleep, 26.1 percent watching TV and movies, 19.5 percent excessive work and drinking sessions with colleagues, 18.4 percent sleep apnoea and other disorders, 16.4 percent childcare and 11.7 percent online games.
Working mom Kim Joo-hee (36) said, "After spending all day at work and then taking care of my kids after getting home, the only time I have for myself is when I get ready to sleep, so I end up surfing the net on my phone until the small hours."
Kim Hye-yun at Catholic Kwandong University International St. Mary's Hospital said, "Our mental states differ according to each day of the week, so there are differences in the quality of sleep we experience. People who suffer from chronic sleep-deprivation, need to choose a good day to catch up on some badly needed sleep."
But Kim added, "If you wake up too late the following day, you could end up throwing your normal sleep cycle out of joint, so it's better to set a night to catch up on sleep, go to bed early that night and wake up the following day at the usual time."
Banker Choi Wan-woo (29) recently stopped going out to party on Fridays. He turns off his smartphone to stop getting invitations from friends and coworkers and is in bed by 9 p.m. "Fridays are the most relaxing for me mentally," he said. "I stopped thinking of myself as a loser if I don't go out and ended up enjoying my weekends and feeling better on Monday."
Instead people go out on Thursdays. Job portal Incruit polled 947 office workers last year when they go out for drinks or dinner with friends and colleagues, and the highest percentage (19 percent) chose Thursday.