If you have been to historical museums, you probably had the opportunity to notice that the beds on which people slept until the twentieth century are much shorter in length than modern ones. And it's not about height at all. Previously, European people slept sitting or reclining. And in Russia this tradition was adopted during the time of Peter I.
But let's see why people chose such an uncomfortable sleeping position and even came up with sleeping wardrobes, which also provided for half-sitting sleep?
Historians have no definite answer to this question. However, there are many suggestions why such a wild tradition has been honored for such a long time. One of the versions says that even in the early Middle Ages, when there was a turbulent and dangerous time, such a small precaution could save lives in the event of an unexpected enemy attack.
Another version says: it was all a matter of superstition. People were afraid that the devils, seeing a person lying (that is, in a dead man's pose), would take his soul. Also, many historians believe that sleeping while sitting was previously considered beneficial to health and allegedly increased mental capacity. This posture was considered useful by healers for circulation.
Another version is connected with fireplaces: because of the heating of the huge fireplaces in the castle, a large amount of smoke accumulated and people often suffered from pulmonary diseases, and the sitting posture in a dream helped to breathe easier and not suffocate from the smoke.
And here are more versions proposed by different historians at different times.
They slept half-sitting, because they could "according to the law" act as with a dead man (undress, rob and finish off).
Sitting in closets sleeping to keep warm;
-to save space in the dwelling;
- so as not to snore.
They slept sitting, locked in a closet, perhaps so that at night the rats would not gnaw off their noses and ears.
But there is an even crazier version! The Dutch slept sitting in special lockers, as drunken sailors constantly fell out of their beds in their sleep!
The ladies of the court slept while sitting in order to preserve the hairstyle, the construction of which took more than one hour and, therefore, was changed once a week or even less often.
And one more version related to vanity. The royal persons and those close to them thus emphasized their superiority and difference from ordinary people.