How We Move and Sleep in India

India is one of the largest countries in the world, ranking second by population and seventh by land size. It is also one of the most culturally diverse countries with 23 official languages, a multitude of cuisines, and a variety of religious beliefs and practices. We have seen some of this rich diversity living in India, and meeting people and hearing stories from across the country, but our experiences have been limited to a few cities, and we’ve always wondered about parts of the country we’ve never been to. So when Jawbone launched in India, we were curious to see if and how this diversity gets reflected in sleep and activity data from thousands of people wearing UP bands in different parts of the country. What moves Indians? What makes them keep late nights? Which cities get the most sleep in India?

Our Festivals

In any given week, some religious festival or national event is being observed in all or part of India – there are well over sixty national and regional holidays in a year (most offices and schools maintain six day work weeks to make sure work gets done!). We looked at how these events might affect people’s sleep patterns – be it due to celebrations with fireworks and dancing or because of prayers offered at night. We see that New Year’s Eve caused the most sleep disruption with the average bedtime being over an hour later than usual. This number matches what we see in other countries around the world. Christmas celebrations, Diwali fireworks, Navratri dandiya dancing, and Holi bonfires also kept people up at night. National holidays like Republic Day and May Day happened around the weekend in 2015 and coincided with important IPL cricket matches – together these affected sleep patterns. And then, there are festivals like Eid-al-Fitr, Tamil New Year, Baisakhi, Mahavir Jayanti and Good Friday that are observed by smaller sections of the population either by region or religion, but are significant enough to affect the overall sleep averages.

Our Cities

City Steps Bedtime Waketime Total Hours
Bangalore 7799 11:53 PM 7:11 AM 6 hr, 31 min
Chennai 6872 11:52 PM 7:05 AM 6 hr, 21 min
Delhi 7278 12:13 AM 7:34 AM 6 hr, 33 min
Hyderabad 6480 12:03 AM 7:17 AM 6 hr, 23 min
Kolkata 6878 11:59 PM 7:09 AM 6 hr, 16 min
Mumbai 6881 12:16 AM 7:37 AM 6 hr, 32 min
Panaji 8792 12:21 AM 7:51 AM 6 hr, 44 min
Pune 7436 11:55 PM 7:14 AM 6 hr, 33 min

Let’s zoom in and look at how different cities in India step and sleep. The average sleep time is mostly uniform at around six and half hours in all cities, with Panaji (Goa) getting the most sleep. Ironically, more sleep does not make Panaji a lazy city. To the contrary, more sleep makes Panaji emerge as the city with the most steps, and staying up the latest at night—so it is indeed India’s party city! The wake times vary significantly across the country. India is wide enough to have at least two time zones, but follows a single standard time. The sun rises over an hour earlier in the eastern side of the country than the western side and the early bedtimes on the east show how our bodies adjust for this. Kolkota on the east coast wakes up thirty minutes earlier than Mumbai on the west coast. Chennaites just like to wake up early. If you’re visiting, you cannot miss the 6am buzz with the aroma of filter coffee in the air. Bangalore, India’s garden city, ranks second in steps after Panaji. Hyderabadis get the least steps, and while we’d like more data to be sure, it surely fits with the laid back nature of my home city.

Technical Notes: This study was based on thousands of UP wearers who have regularly used UP by Jawbone over the past year in India to track their sleep. All data is anonymized and presented in aggregate.

About The Author

Sameera Poduri

Sameera is interested in intelligent systems, and has a deep passion for technology that empowers people to live better and realize their potential. She has a PhD in robotics, and has productized innovative algorithms that have made mobile phones and wearable devices smarter. At Jawbone, she analyzes rich health data from UP devices to provide personalized intelligence to its users. You can follow her on Twitter @sameerapoduri .