Between the 1840’s and 1940’s there was an idea that couples did better to sleep in separate beds. People thought if couples slept together the sleeper who was weaker in some way (such as older) would absorb vitality from the sleeper who was stronger in some way.
Salvador Dali would hold a key or a spoon in his hand with a tin plate on the floor. If he drifted asleep, the key for spoon would fall and hit the plate waking him up. This is how he was able to create his paintings; while staying awake and being in a quasi-dream state of mind.
The longest recorded time spent awake was set in 1965 a high school student stayed awake for 264 hours (about 11 days).
In 1950, several store owners independently realized that they could draw big crowds by having a woman sleeping in a bed as a window display.
In Japan, sleeping on the job is encouraged. It is viewed as exhaustion from working hard. Some people even fake it to look committed to their job.
The human brain remains half awake when sleeping in a new environment for the first time.
People without light stimulation from the sun (i.e. in a cave) tend to have a 25 hour sleep-wake cycle.
Arthur “Turkey” Gehrke of Watertown, Wis., had an odd habit. Every November he would go to bed and stay there until the following April. He told the press, “I hibernate and don’t get into trouble; while I may miss some fun, I also miss a lot of disagreeable things.” He also said, “If more folks went to bed all winter, there wouldn’t be so much trouble and confusion in the world.”
Strangely, his business didn’t suffer because of his sleep habits. He owned a bar, the Turkey’s Roost. He hired a temporary bartender to replace him during his hibernation, and the publicity because of his hibernating actually attracted extra business.
Gehrke began his habit of hibernating in 1913 and continued it until his death in 1942.
There is a rare sleeping disorder called Kleine–Levin syndrome that causes people to sleep for weeks at a time waking only to eat or go to the bathroom.
Some forward-thinking companies such as Nike and Google offer places for their employees to nap. Research has shown that naps refresh our bodies, make us more attentive and improve our moods. It’s in the best interest of employers and employees for everyone to be functioning at their best. Fatigue contributes to $18 billion a year in lost productivity. And when tired employees go home, they’re at an increased risk of being in a car crash.