The poll of 14,100 people in 28 countries and regions - from Asia to Europe and the United States - showed 40% of people in Asia only go to sleep after midnight, compared with 34% in the United States and 32% 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," Vicky Santos, executive director of AC Nielsen's Singapore office, said, citing distractions ranging from late-night entertainment to all-night shopping and the internet.

 

Night owls

   

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

   

"There is evidence all around us that people are pushing back their bed times"

Vicky Santos, executive director,
AC Nielsen, Singapore

But seven of the top 10 nocturnal places were in Asia - led by Taiwan, where 69% said they only nod off 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% said they are out of bed by 7am.

   

The Japanese got the least sleep, with 41% managing six hours or less each night.

   

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

   

Among Australians, 24% of those polled said they went to bed by 10pm and 31% said they average more than nine hours of sleep a night.