strange beliefs about snoring

Ancient, Strange Beliefs about Snoring and Sleep No ratings yet.

Published On November 1, 2016 | By SDA Editorial Staff | About Snoring

Ancient, Strange Beliefs about Snoring and Sleep

Nowadays, thanks to the advent of modern medicine and scientific research, we understand a great deal about how the human body works and functions.

But many people nowadays are unaware of just how lucky we are.

It wasn’t that long ago that humans were almost clueless about simple things that we now take for granted. Not long ago (a few hundred years), bloodletting – or the practice of ‘bleeding’ a sick patient – was a commonly-prescribed procedure for many maladies, ranging from sore throats to fevers.

The ancient Persians and Greeks used to use mercury (which we now know as a toxic metal) as a common medical elixir. It was at one point even believed that a brew containing mercury, arsenic, and sulfur could make a person immortal!

But sleep and snoring have not altogether survived without their own strange beliefs and superstitions. While snoring and sleep loss in-general might seem like easily-explainable problems in some cases, people in ancient times were apparently baffled (and sometimes frightened) by them – which led to a variety of different beliefs that had little to do with scientific thought, and much more to do with myth, superstition, and folklore.

Here are some of our favorite strange beliefs about snoring and sleep that many people in the ancient world used to believe.

Supernatural Spirits

Did you know that sleep disorders were sometimes blamed on evil spirits? It’s true. In fact, sleep paralysis has long been associated with demons, witches, evil entities, and even the ‘Old Hag’ from folklore.

Granted, some sleep disorders can seem very unpleasant (like sleep paralysis)… but rest assured that there is no demonic activity to blame for it!

This belief was so strong for so long that even to this day, some superstitious people still believe that sleep paralysis (which his commonly associated with feelings of fear and terror) is an indicator of demonic or supernatural activity. The truth is, however, that it is merely a sign that you are not moving smoothly through the various stages of sleep.

Teeth-Grinding… or Communication from the Dead?

Bruxism, which is a condition in which a person involuntarily grinds their teeth (especially during sleep), used to be associated with communication from the dead by the Babylonians.

But even stranger than the belief was the supposed cure. The individual would be instructed to sleep with a human skull for seven days… and every night before bed, they were supposed to kiss and lick it seven times!

Unregulated Sleeping Aids

Before medicine was regulated, sleep became a sellable commodity with a ton of products on the market to help it along. Products that were intended to treat sleeplessness flooded the market – but many of them were filled with dangerous ingredients that we would never even consider using today.

For example, one such product was named Chlorodyne. It was hailed as a miracle cure for sleeplessness, and was also said to treat upset stomachs and migraines. But the ingredients included laudanum (opiates mixed into an alcohol solution), cannabis, and chloroform. It probably worked – but it was quite dangerous, and very addictive!

The Modern Era

Thankfully, in this modern era, we understand sleep and the need for it much better than we used to. We have also mostly rejected superstition, and have come to understand that the vast majority of problems have a simple scientific explanation behind them.

This has helped us to develop safer, better, and more effective treatments for a variety of ailments – including sleeplessness.

Another great thing about the advent of modern medicine is the fact that there are now some truly effective treatments for all kinds of different sleeping disorders – including snoring and sleep apnea.

If you tend to suffer from snoring, then it would be a very good idea to find a treatment that works for you. Allowing your snoring problem to continue could end up costing you big-time in terms of a sleep debt, and could even increase your risk for suffering from other types of diseases as well.

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