The origin of the Sandman and sleep

Daybreak

Len Rome's Daily Feature of Little Known Facts

(WYTV)- Do you ever wake up with that crusty stuff in your eyes?

It’s just a discharge from your eyes overnight. Centuries ago in Europe, parents would tell you you crusty eyelashes meant that the Sandman had been to your bed sprinkling magic sleepy dust in your eyes to bring you dreams.


To get a little kid to go to sleep, you might tell a story. That is most likely how the Sandman came to be: a character to calm children.


Folklore experts tell us that it’s difficult to trace his origins to pin them down to one country.

The Germans in the 18th century used to say “der Sandmann kommt” ….”Sandman is coming,” a scary tease. He’s a creature who throws sand in the eyes of little children who won’t go to sleep, causing their eyes to fall out of their sockets. The Sandman then collects the eyeballs in a sack and carries them to his home on the dark side of the moon, where he feeds them to his children.


Sigmund Freud later wrote about it. His Sandman is this dark, predatory monster. In 1841, Hans Christian Andersen published a fairy tale about a Sandman in silk pajamas.

The unusual thing about the Sandman is, he’s a lot bigger than you are there’s no defeating him.
There’s no happily ever after except falling asleep, giving in.

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