What Morpheus is hiding: 8 curious facts about sleep

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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.

giant bed

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.

Sleep break

Sleep break

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.

cat, feline, net
cat, animal, asleep
ai generated, mother, woman

Cheese before bed for nightmares

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.

By Yraa

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