Sleep for a per­son is an impor­tant com­po­nent of a ful­fill­ing life. But there are many facts about sleep that are lit­tle known but very enter­tain­ing.

Dream before and now

Life is chang­ing so quick­ly that it is some­times dif­fi­cult to keep track of all the trans­for­ma­tions, you have to adapt to the mod­ern rhythm, learn new things. Oth­er­wise, today we eat and have fun, raise chil­dren, build rela­tion­ships. It turns out that sleep has under­gone cer­tain changes, ideas about it have evolved, and now many of the habits that were before some­times cause a smile.

Pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions rest­ed at night in a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent way than we do, and this is due to objec­tive rea­sons. Pre­vi­ous­ly in Europe, sleep was not pri­vate, only rel­a­tive­ly recent­ly the sit­u­a­tion has changed. In the Mid­dle Ages, ser­vants and all fam­i­ly mem­bers slept in the same bed, as this allowed them to warm up, and pos­si­ble attacks from the out­side were exclud­ed. In those days it was not safe to live, espe­cial­ly at night. It was only in the 18th cen­tu­ry that bed­rooms began to sug­gest a soli­tary sleep, and atti­tudes towards them changed. In the day­time, guests were received there, they were engaged in state affairs, and only in the 19th cen­tu­ry did the bed­room begin to per­form the func­tions that are assumed today. Peo­ple began to sleep all night and were not awake for some time. Strange as it may sound, sleep was pre­vi­ous­ly divid­ed into sev­er­al peri­ods.

Peo­ple did not live by the clock, they were guid­ed by the sun, and the sched­ule of sleep and wake­ful­ness depend­ed on the length of the day. Can­dles were expen­sive, fire­wood too, which is why when the dark time of the day came, every­one went to bed. If the night last­ed 13–14 hours, then after a while peo­ple woke up, went about their busi­ness, and then went to the “sec­ond dream”. Accord­ing to the obser­va­tions of sci­en­tists, even today those who are forced to spend 14 or more hours in the dark pre­fer just such a sched­ule.

Attitude to sleep, habits and superstitions

Attitude to sleep, habits and superstitions

Of the strange options for rest­ing at night, one can note a dream in a sit­ting posi­tion. In this way, peo­ple tried to avoid cere­bral hem­or­rhage, and some of the super­sti­tion did not want to sleep in the pos­ture of the deceased.

Ladies at court tried to keep their high hair­styles, as it took a long time to do them, and male aris­to­crats were afraid of attack, since con­spir­a­cies were the norm at that time. Sit­ting down made it eas­i­er to wake up, and that way they were always alert. It is known that Peter I, upon arrival from Europe, also became addict­ed to a cer­tain sleep rit­u­al and slept in a cus­tom-made clos­et.

A dif­fer­ent approach to night rest was an insur­mount­able obsta­cle between Euro­peans and the inhab­i­tants of the East. They do not under­stand the cus­toms of oth­er peo­ples, it is dif­fi­cult to accept their cul­ture. The Chi­nese, for exam­ple, were afraid of evil spir­its and in every pos­si­ble way drove them away with the help of bright bed­room dec­o­ra­tion, the same bed linen. This tra­di­tion is still pre­served, and if we see bright and defi­ant col­ors and pat­terns on bed­ding, then this is not sur­pris­ing. And taste has absolute­ly noth­ing to do with it, peo­ple pay trib­ute to tra­di­tions.

But how did they sleep in Rus’? Every­one knows what the hut looked like, and half of the area was occu­pied by beds. This is a floor­ing made of wood, which was placed above the stove, in the win­ter months the stove was heat­ed, it was warm above it, and in this way the fam­i­ly was saved from the cold. This priv­i­leged place was giv­en to the elder­ly, chil­dren or those who were sick. The rest of the fam­i­ly slept on bench­es, on mat­tress­es stuffed with straw, and cov­ered them­selves with linen blan­kets.

The com­mon peo­ple did not know what a bed was, they were used only by nobles and noble peo­ple: nobles and mer­chants. The fur­nish­ings in their homes were rich, the bed­room was giv­en the most atten­tion, so it was often lit­tered with pil­lows, feath­erbeds, the room was cramped. But it was the num­ber of all bed­room acces­sories that tes­ti­fied to the wealth of a per­son. Some beds were climbed up the stairs, there was such a num­ber of feath­erbeds, the bed­rooms were poor­ly ven­ti­lat­ed, the air in them was stale, it was dif­fi­cult to breathe.

Good sleep and health: a direct link

Good sleep and health: a direct link

Stay­ing healthy is not easy, espe­cial­ly if you have to sleep less than the pre­scribed time or if the place to sleep is not com­fort­able enough. In Sovi­et Rus­sia, the most com­mon were beds with shell mesh. In their man­u­fac­ture, steel wire was used. The mat­tress­es were on springs or stuffed with ordi­nary cot­ton wool. Only by the mid­dle of the 20th cen­tu­ry, wood­en beds began to come into fash­ion, they were made of sol­id wood, the base was lined with ply­wood.

Then a new mate­r­i­al was devel­oped — foam rub­ber, and they began to intro­duce it into the pro­duc­tion of mat­tress­es and fur­ni­ture — they took care of the health of cit­i­zens, tried to do every­thing to make their sleep com­fort­able and calm.

Today, polyurethane foam mat­tress­es are very pop­u­lar, as they are high­ly com­fort­able and have ortho­pe­dic prop­er­ties. But there are sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences among res­i­dents of the Unit­ed States, Euro­pean coun­tries and Rus­sia in their pref­er­ences when choos­ing a mat­tress. In Europe, polyurethane foam occu­pies 80% of all mat­tress­es pro­duced, as in the USA. And we have a strong opin­ion that the best mat­tress on springs has not yet been invent­ed. But over time, the sit­u­a­tion is chang­ing, com­bined mod­els appear, many pre­fer polyurethane foam. Such mat­tress­es are durable, do not lose their shape, they have ortho­pe­dic sup­port for the spine, which has a pos­i­tive effect on health.

How do people sleep in different countries?

The Japan­ese get up ear­ly and go to bed late, as they work all day and give 100% to work. In the US, ear­ly ris­ers and ear­ly to bed, as well as in Bel­gium, Aus­tralia and New Zealand. The Ger­mans choose the gold­en mean, and the French are con­sid­ered owls.

The dura­tion of sleep depends on the weath­er con­di­tions, and if it is cold out­side, then peo­ple sleep longer. Health is very impor­tant for peo­ple, and since we spend a cer­tain time in a dream, it is nec­es­sary to orga­nize it cor­rect­ly. Despite the fact that sleep tra­di­tions have evolved over many years, it is worth stick­ing to the gold­en mean and using prod­ucts that pro­vide com­fort and are of high qual­i­ty.

How will peo­ple sleep in the future? Maybe it will take them sev­er­al hours or even min­utes, or they will sleep stand­ing up or on the move. Rela­tions between peo­ple are chang­ing, new devel­op­ments in the field of bed­ding are being intro­duced. But in any case, it is nec­es­sary to fol­low the rules of sleep in order to sleep well, since the qual­i­ty of life and over­all health depend on it.


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