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Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies

How we used to sleep

An innovative collaboration between the University of Manchester and the National Trust’s Tudor property, Little Moreton Hall, which offers a critical tool-kit for rethinking modern approaches to sleep-management.

Sheets dividing a room with stitched letters spelling 'sleep'

This ongoing research project is funded by an AHRC Follow On Funding Award and it exploits the research of Dr. Sasha Handley, whose recently-published book Sleep in Early Modern England (Yale University Press, 2016) uncovers a world in which sleeping soundly was understood to be pivotal to physical vigour, emotional wellbeing, prosperity, personal reputation and spiritual health.

The project has directed the interpretation programme at Little Moreton Hall throughout 2017, and it has engaged with artists, filmmakers, social enterprises, mental healthcare providers and service users, and school groups across the northwest.

For more information, see the project website:

Sleep: Lost and Found

As part of the Being Human Festival (25-26 November 2017) at the Manchester Museum, sleep historians and sleep experts offered practical advice on how to improve sleep quality.

Find out more about this project-related event in our past events section: