Mild-mannered photographer Bernd Hagemann tiptoes around Shanghai with his camera. He has to keep quiet to avoid waking his snoring subjects. But despite his low profile, his photo website Sleeping Chinese has been getting a lot of attention from media as far afield as Apple Daily and La Repubblica.

Britain’s Daily Telegraph reports: “Bernd Hagemann moved to the Far East in 2002, and since then he regularly takes to the streets of Shanghai to find extreme nappers to add to his extensive photograph collection. He divides the groups into three categories — hardsleepers, softsleepers and groupsleepers. Hardsleepers are able to fall asleep anywhere on any surface, softsleepers need something a little more comfortable, and groupsleepers sleep with people around them, be it friends, family or complete strangers.

“China’s passion for the siesta is captured at Sleeping Chinese, where Shanghai photographer Bernd Hagemann has put up over 700 photographs of Chinese sleeping in seemingly impossible positions: under trucks, on shopping carts, scooters and butcher slabs, vividly illustrating the millions of weary masses who helped power the nation’s economic rise,” says the Wall Street Journal. “On his site — which has attracted almost half a million visitors — Mr. Hagemann wrote that he started the site to show the outside world the less threatening side of China’s rise.”

Bernd’s photo book Sleeping Chinese is published later this summer. It may be just the thing for a bedtime read…