April 19, 2011
Margaret Thatcher, a former British prime minister, reportedly got by on just four hours' sleep a night. Such deprivation would trouble many people, and certainly the French, who sleep for nearly nine hours on average, according to a report by the OECD. True to stereotype, the French also spend the most time eating and drinking of OECD members—indeed, they eat for almost twice as long as the Americans. The Japanese appear to have a tough time of it, working by far the longest hours. However, they also devote less time to unpaid work such as household chores and childcare, activities that account for around one third of the OECD's GDP.