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Last to bed, first up

Singapore, March 7 (Reuters): People in Asia burn the midnight oil, sleeping later than most Americans and Europeans and then waking up earlier, a global survey on sleep habits has found.

The poll of 14,100 people in 28 countries and regions ' from Asia to Europe and the US ' showed 40 per cent of people in Asia only go to sleep after midnight, compared with 34 per cent in the US and 32 per cent in Europe.

Asia is also the earliest to rise, the survey by market research firm AC Nielsen showed, with the Japanese the most deprived of sleep.

'There is evidence all around us that people are pushing back their bed times,' said Vicky Santos, executive director of AC Nielsen's Singapore office, citing distractions ranging from late night entertainment to all-night shopping and the Internet.

Portugal boasts more night owls than any other country with three-quarters of those polled still up after midnight, the survey, conducted over the Internet in October, showed.

But seven of the top 10 nocturnal places were in Asia ' led by Taiwan, where 69 per cent said they nod off only after midnight, the second-highest proportion after Portugal.

Half of the 10 places with the most early-risers were in Asia, led by Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation where 91 per cent said they are out of bed by 7 am. The Japanese got the least sleep, with 41 per cent managing six hours or less each night.

In contrast, Australians nodded off the earliest and got the longest hours of beauty sleep.

Twenty-four per cent of Australians polled said they went to bed by 10 pm and 31 per cent said they average more than nine hours of sleep a night.

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