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If the memory foam mattress had existed in Shakespeare’s time there can be little doubt they would have made their way into one of his plays or sonnets, perhaps even serving as a crucial plot device. Despite missing out on this possibility, Shakespeare still had a few things to say about sleep, as have a number of other famous names throughout the years. Here is a selection of the best.

Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care,

The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath

Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course.

Chief nourisher in life’s feast.

 

William Shakespeare, Macbeth

 

Sleeping is no mean art: for its sake one must stay awake all day.

 

Friedrich Nietzsche

 

I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting.

 

Mark Twain

 

If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.

 

Dale Carnegie

 

People who say they sleep like a baby usually don’t have one.

Leo J. Burke

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.

Irish Proverb

Sleep is the best meditation.

Dalai Lama

Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.

Anthony Burgess

Man should forget his anger before he lies down to sleep.

Mahatma Gandhi

People say, 'I'm going to sleep now,' as if it were nothing. But it's really a bizarre activity. 'For the next several hours, while the sun is gone, I'm going to become unconscious, temporarily losing command over everything I know and understand. When the sun returns, I will resume my life. If you didn't know what sleep was, and you had only seen it in a science fiction movie, you would think it was weird.

George Carlin


Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight.

Phyllis Diller

I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?

Ernest Hemingway

The lion and the calf shall lie down together but the calf won’t get much sleep.

Woody Allen

Some people talk in their sleep. Lecturers talk while other people sleep.

Albert Camus

It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.

John Steinbeck

The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep.

W. C. Fields

Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.

William Blake

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

Virginia Woolf

I love to sleep. I'd sleep all day if I could.

Miley Cyrus

We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

Shakespeare, The Tempest

There are two types of people in this world, good and bad. The good sleep better, but the bad seem to enjoy the waking hours much more.

Woody Allen

Life is something to do when you can't get to sleep.

Fran Lebowitz


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