Sleep Medicine in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

  • A. Roger EkirchEmail author


The medical study of sleep and its disorders in Western culture during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance drew heavily from the writings of Aristotle, Hippocrates, Galen, and other “ancients.” Most European texts devoted several pages to the topic of sleep, including discussions of its causes, functions, and disorders. Owing to illness, anxiety, and environmental annoyances, sleep deprivation was common, but treatments at best were primitive.


Middle Ages Renaissance Sleep Segmented sleep Sleep medicine Sleep disorders 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistoryVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA

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