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Americans And The French: Pretty Similar In Bed

At least that's what the OECD says. According to numbers the organization released today, the French sleep the most of any OECD member nation: about 530 minutes on an average night. (This would appear to include every French person, not just adults, though I can't tell if it's an average or median...) But the United States is next at just under 520 minutes, which surprises me a bit. Way at the other end of the spectrum are Korea and Japan, at about 470 minutes.

The report includes some other interesting numbers, like the average amount of time people in OECD countries spend eating each day. Here Americans and the French are basically polar opposites: 135 minutes for the French; about 75 for us.

Just one question about interpretation: Since this appears to be based on survey data, it's possible that it tells us how much time people want you to think they spend sleeping and eating, not how much time they actually do. For example, maybe it's a sign of status in France (or, who knows, in the United States--though certainly not among Northeastern overachievers) to sleep a lot, in which case people might tell you they do even if they don't. Conversely, it may be a sign of status in Japan and Korea to get by with very little sleep, in which case people would have an incentive to say the opposite.

(Via Justin Fox.)

--Noam Scheiber