Since we spend around one-third of our entire lives asleep, it is no wonder that many have spent their time ruminating over what sleeping is really all about. Famous actors, politicians, writers, and celebrities have all graced us over the years with their thoughts on this part of their lives.
Their quotes about sleep are often surprisingly insightful, occasionally misleading, and more often than not have been known to cause a chuckle or two. You'll find some of the best, along with a bit of commentary, just below.
But first, let's start with one of the quotes this website is founded upon, a short but all-encompassing one by our professor Dr. William Dement:
"You're not healthy, unless your sleep is healthy."
-Dr. William Dement, father of sleep medicine
and inspiration for this website
Can you think of any more good quotes about sleep besides the ones we have below? Your own or another's?
"As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death."
-Leonardo da Vinci
"Insomnia is a gross feeder. It will nourish itself on any kind of thinking, including thinking about not thinking."
Written by Casey Engelbert, Winter 2010
Many of the world's famous share a certain default appreciation of sleep as the contrast to wakefulness. As one of America's greatest writers, it is no wonder that Ernest Hemingway's ironic commentary on sleep is so humorously accurate:
"I love sleep. My life has a tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?"
Not far off is philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who, in an appropriately pessimistic manner, shares:
"Sleeping is no mean art: for its sake one must stay awake all day."
Meanwhile, George Allen resonates productivity when he says:
Thus it seems sleep, for many, is simply a break - the only real way to get away from the tumultuousness of wakefulness.
Others, however, can't sing sleep's praises enough, appreciating the sleep itself rather than the break from wakefulness.
While Hemingway and Allen might value sleep as a means to avoiding or relaxing from the waking world, and Flannigan sees it as the best part of the day, there are also those that value sleep for its ability to enhance the waking lives we lead.
Sleep is a necessity, and for some this fact reveals itself in a somewhat dramatic experience. The great American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald comments on the frustrations of insomnia, claiming:
Still, it would be a huge misconception to think that everyone takes sleep so seriously.
John Ciardi, apparently an avid supporter of sleeping in, humorously observes:
Actor Wally Shawn, appearing to perhaps be employed by Starbucks, summarizes:
And finally, Anthony Burgess has utmost insight into the reality of the experience of the snoring man:
And join the conversation with your own comments here:blog comments powered by Disqus
Welcome! This site is continuously being created by students of Dr. William C. Dement's Sleep And Dreams course at Stanford University.
We made this site as a call to action for people all over the world to live healthier, happier, safer, and more productive lives by learning about their own sleep. We have faith that reading the information provided on this site will motivate you to be smart about your sleep deprivation and strategic about your alertness in order to live life to your fullest, most energetic potential.
In fact, we challenge you to do so! What do you say, are you up for the challenge?
Dr. Dement's pioneering textbook has been the core text for Sleep and Dreams since 1980, but it has just recently been made available to the wider public for the first time.
In it you'll find a more detailed account of the most important things you need to know about sleep, alertness, dreams, and sleep disorders. Studies, statistics, plus plenty of Dr. Dement's classic anecdotes painting the history of sleep medicine.
A revolution in personal sleep tracking, the Zeo is a wireless headband that transmits your brainwaves in realtime to a dock (pictured here) or your smartphone. The result? You can wake up and see exactly what stages of sleep you were in during the night! Unprecedented personalized sleep knowledge.
Ever woken up paralyzed? A surprising number of us have, believe it or not. But few know the actual causes of this phenomenon, and fewer still how to exert control over it. Dream researcher and sleep paralysis expert Ryan Hurd shares breakthrough insights into how to do just that.
The information found on this page and throughout this site is intended for general information purposes only. While it may prove useful and empowering, it is NOT intended as a substitute for the expertise and judgments of healthcare practitioners.
For more info, see our