Most of the time people spend in the bedroom. On average, sleep takes 15 to 30 years of life. For many, the bedroom and bed are the last thing they see at the end of the day before going to bed, and the first thing that surrounds them in the morning. For centuries, people have tried to unravel the mystery of dreams, coming up with strange rules, habits and rituals. Let’s talk about some unusual facts about sleep, bed and bedroom.
A pillow is an insult to men
Today, few people doubt that for a good sleep, a person, regardless of age and gender, needs a properly selected pillow. However, in 16th-century England, it was considered offensive to ask a man to sleep on a pillow. This was perceived as a doubt in masculinity, strength and honor. Women from ordinary families also did not have the habit of sleeping on soft accessories under their heads, except perhaps during illness and childbirth. Instead of a pillow, a well-hewn round log was more often used.
In the small town of Ware in the east of England, a giant bed was made at the end of the 16th century. It was ordered by the owners of the hotel and wished that at least eight people could easily fit on the bed. The three-meter piece of furniture was more used as a tourist attraction. Travelers loved to carve their names into the wooden base of the bed. She was mentioned more than once in various literary works, including W. Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
One of the last giant beds was installed in 2004 in the Amsterdam Lloyd Hotel, which has existed since the beginning of the 20th century. Previously, a prison was located in the hotel building, so the exterior of the hotel is very unusual. One of the 117 rooms has a bed that can accommodate up to eight people. It is designed for large families and budget tourists-students.
On average, most children and adults go to bed around ten or eleven at night, and their sleep lasts about 7–8 hours. If a person does not have special problems with physical and mental health, then he is unlikely to wake up in the middle of the night. On the contrary, interrupted sleep is usually perceived as a cause for concern. And in the British Middle Ages, it was customary to go to bed at nine in the evening in order to sleep until midnight and get up for a short break (within 1–2 hours). During this period, people could go to eat, read, communicate with loved ones, meditate, pray, and even work a little. It was believed that such habits improve brain function and allow you to throw out excess energy, so that later you can sleep soundly until dawn.
Bed for everyone
The bedroom has long been perceived as a place for solitude and peace, where a person can stay alone or with a close partner. However, this was not always the case. The facts are confirmed when in American hotels of the 19th century, due to lack of space, it was customary to share one bed with complete strangers. This was often practiced even in private homes. Servants usually slept on the floor in their master’s bedroom, and sometimes in bed with their master, just because he was afraid of being attacked by thieves or having nightmares. In some families, before going to bed, rules were established about who and where will be placed on a large bed. This took into account the status, age and gender of the household. And only in the Victorian era, such habits were gradually eradicated, and bedrooms began to stand out for each member of the family. Shared beds, on the other hand, have become immoral and indecent.
The habit of sleeping during the day
Sleeping during the day is useful not only for children, but also for adults. Winston Churchill admitted that he could not do without the habit of taking a nap after dinner. This helped him gain energy and strength, better control stress, brain function and increase productivity. A short nap after dinner is also approved by modern doctors, believing that such a habit has a beneficial effect on the quality of work and health. If possible, it is useful to take a nap right in your work chair between lunch and dinner, take off your shoes and relax. You don’t have to worry about wasting time. After such a rest, the body receives an additional surge of strength, which is why productivity increases markedly.
Holy alarm clock
The ancient Greeks asked for healthy sleep from the god Morpheus. And in the Middle Ages, in order to get enough sleep and get up on time, people prayed to the Roman great martyr St. Vitus or Vitus before going to bed. Many believers from all over the world turn to him for help to this day. According to legend, the saint was executed by throwing him into a pot of boiling oil along with a rooster. That is why Wit was associated with the crowing of a rooster and helped to get up early. On historical frescoes, he was depicted with a rooster.
The value of the bed
Nowadays, beds are perceived as a common and necessary item in a home interior, while in the Late Middle Ages, members of high society considered the bed an item of luxury and status. It was ordered by famous masters at fabulous prices. The design used precious metals and expensive woods. This piece of furniture was placed in such a way as to demonstrate it to guests at a convenient moment. In some wealthy homes, the master bedrooms had special viewing windows in the wall or door. With their help, it was convenient to admire the bed. The heads of families often included it in their will as a significant luxury item. Usually in the house of aristocrats there were at least two best beds, one of which was shown to guests and placed in the owner’s private room, and the second, as a rule, was a marital bed, which was shown extremely rarely.
Cheese before bed for nightmares
In the folklore of some European countries in the 18–19th century, a sign was widespread: “Eat cheese before going to bed — you will have a nightmare.” For a long time, no research has been done on this topic. But not so long ago, in 2005, the British conducted an experiment in which two hundred volunteers were offered to eat 20–30 g of cheese at night. As a result, it was proved that such an evening snack in almost 70% of the subjects did not cause nightmares or restless sleep. The study used six varieties of dairy product. It is curious that each type of cheese caused different kinds of dreams: from childhood memories to surreal utopias.