It’s a bit of a tired old joke and cliché – Brits on vacation can always guarantee that their German fellow holidaymakers will be first to get their towels down on the sunlounger.
Now, it seems that there is a serious reason behind this – if the results of a new study suggesting that our European cousins rise earlier and sleep less than we do are to be believed.
Carried out by UK scientists at the University of Oxford, the study found that in Britain we sleep for a nightly average of seven hours and 21 minutes, and are generally in the office by 850am.
For their part, in Germany citizens sleep for an average of eight minutes less, and started work half an hour earlier. Another key difference with their UK counterparts, the research found, was that, when their alarms went off, Germans rarely silenced them using a snooze button.
While Brits lazed under the covers for 20 minutes, in Germany it seems that they are on their feet within 15 minutes of being woken.
The study, which spoke to 60,000 British and over 70,000 German participants, also looked at other factors known to affect sleep, such as alcohol consumption and obesity, and researchers now hope to complete similar projects in other countries.
But, whatever you use to bag your sunlounger and to dry off next time you’re on holiday, make sure it’s something good! Go for bright, darker colours and enough absorbency to dry off quickly, and enough thickness to rest on comfortably. Luckily, there’s plenty of choice these days when it comes to luxury towels for the beach. For example, you might want to go for gorgeous Egyptian cotton towels- always a safe bet.
So, bag your sunlounger with pride – and set that alarm clock eight minutes earlier to get a head start on the competition!