From Hypnos to the Heavenly Bed: A Brief History of Sleep

Sleep is having its moment in the sun — or, more appropriately, its moment in a darkened room, with blackout shades drawn, the temperature somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit, all smartphones and tablets banished from the room and maybe a white noise machine softly whirring in the corner.

You’d have to be severely sleep-deprived not to see evidence of the new sleep revolution. Everywhere you look there are articles about the benefits of sleep and the downsides of lack of sleep, tips on how to get more sleep and new devices and apps to help us disconnect and drift off to sleep and then monitor and track different stages of our sleep. Of course, those of us at HuffPost have been eager participants in this revolution, having passionately promoted the importance of sleep for over eight years now.

Though the need for sleep has been a constant throughout human history, how we feel about it has gone through dramatic changes over the years. We’re now in the process of renewing our estranged relationship, especially as science, in the last two decades or so, has validated much of the ancient wisdom about the importance of sleep.

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