to sleep, perchance to dream

tumblr_n2csrzy3Ju1r708zao1_1280“Sleep, much like running a marathon or chewing food, is a solitary activity,” writes Jon Methven. “We physically lie next to each other, but we sleep alone.”

“’Often a bedmate became your best friend. Not just married couples, but sons sleeping with servants, sisters with one another, and aristocratic wives with mistresses. Darkness, within the intimate confines of a bed, leveled social distinctions despite differences in gender and status,’ Ekirch [a historian and professor] says. ‘Most individuals did not readily fall sleep but conversed freely. In the absence of light, bedmates coveted that hour when, frequently, formality and etiquette perished by the bedside.’ “

…Our minds need rest, but our minds also need camaraderie and intimacy and whispering. Anxiety and stress seem less intimidating when discussed with a partner while wearing pajamas. It’s important to talk about our days lying side by side, discuss children and household situations, gossip about neighbors and colleagues, plan for tomorrow in the confines of private chambers. We cuddle. We laugh. At the end of each day we remove the onerous cloaks we’ve donned to face the world, and we want to do this lying next to our best friends, to know we’re not in it alone.”

via {the Atlantic Monthly}

{image source}

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