The Most

Famous Sleeps

of All Time


The miraculous, the tragic, and the funny:
These five sleeps will live in infamy.

Sleeping Beauty

Why we love it:

In Charles Perrault’s original story of “La belle au bois dormant,” or “The beauty sleeping in the wood,” the princess falls into a deep, enchanted sleep, and is carried to the finest room of the castle and placed on a bed of gold, silver and embroidered fabric. #Bedroomgoals

Then, the entire rest of the castle is put to sleep, too. So a whole community of people slept for 100 years, then woke up and went about their business as if nothing had happened. It was a 100 year-long siesta, and we are here for that.

Juliet Capulet

Why we love it:

In case you need a refresher, here’s the three-sentence crash course. Juliet’s father is insisting that she marry a man named Paris. To get out of the wedding, Juliet drinks a potion that will make her appear dead. She plans to be buried in her family’s crypt, then retrieved by Romeo in secret – free to live with her true love forever. Even though her plan was foiled by one of the most tragic communication breakdowns in all of literary history, Juliet’s sleep is still one of the best – and here’s why. Juliet would rather fake her own death than marry the wrong man. She knew what was up. She was clever, conniving and took big risks in the name of love. Yes, Juliet. Sleep in peace.

Rip Van Winkle

Why we love it:

Rip Van Winkle is a great story about how, if you sleep for long enough, all of your responsibilities will go away. Just kidding. It’s more like, “If you wander off to avoid your chores and your partners’ requests for help, you will meet a bunch of ghosts and sleep your life away. And when you wake up, your rifle will be rusty, your beard will gnarly, and your dog will have died.” Either way, it’s a teachable moment we can get behind. Be a helper, kids.

Jan Grzebski

Why we love it:

Jan’s story of recovery is an astonishing one, and a testament to just how much the world can change in a single lifetime. In 1988 in communist Poland, Jan Grzebski was hit by a train and fell into a coma. He woke up 19 years later with the communist government no longer in power, food no longer rationed, and to a city full of people with cell phones! “When I went into a coma there was only tea and vinegar in the shops, meat was rationed and huge petrol queues were everywhere,” Mr. Grzebski said. He attributes his recovery to his wife, Gertruda, who cared for his sleeping body for 19 years. Jan’s coma is one of the longest recorded sleeps, and proof that sometimes the truth is stranger (and more beautiful) than fiction.


Why we love it:

We love finding little things that remind us of each others’ humanity and bind us together as a human race. And one of those things is: we’re all tired. Politicians included. Sometimes they nod off in the middle of debt speeches. Or healthcare speeches. Or Martin Luther King Jr. speeches. We know, of course, that these cat naps don’t indicate a lack of interest or respect – they just mean we’re all human. And that we could all use a giggle followed by a nice long nap.

Ready to create your own famous sleep? A better mattress is a great place to start. Check out our guides for comprehensive, unbiased mattress reviews for every kind of sleeper and dreamer.

Pillow and sheets icon