By Bianca Ffolkes
British scientists have revealed the secret to why German tourists always seem to get their towels on the sunloungers first.
Oxford University researchers have solved the mystery that has left holidaymakers baffled for decades - apparently it is all down to sleeping patterns.
In the study, scientists reviewed the sleeping habits of 76,000 Germans and Britons.
They found that, on average, Britons sleep for seven hours and 21 minutes a night and start work at 8.50am.
In contrast, German citizens have an average of seven hours and 13 minutes sleep every night and start work 30 minutes earlier at 8.20am.
Upon waking, Brits hit the snooze button and stay in bed an extra 20 minutes while Germans get up 15 minutes after their alarms go off.
Researchers believe the Germans’ early starts give them a natural advantage - explaining not only why their economy outperforms ours, but also their reputation for always getting their beach towels on the sunloungers first.
However it's not all bad news for us Brits. Professor Russell Foster, the neuroscientist who led the study, said that getting up later and having less ‘social jetlag’ – the difference between when a person wakes up with and without an alarm – means Brits are likely to be more in tune with their bodies.
"This may be something to do with more flexible start times," he told The Times ahead of his presentation at the Cheltenham Science Festival.
"Many more people have to start work at 8am in Germany.
"The fact Britons are sleeping more and have less social jet lag would promote more creativity. In terms of quality wake time at work, this is good news."
Also on Yahoo! Travel:
- Follow Yahoo! Travel on Twitter