How Medieval Sleeping Arrangements Compare To The Modern World

Image Source: Public Domain

Today many men would see something seriously wrong with the featured image in this article. Three men lying together with an Angel watching over the entire affair appears to be heresy surely. Well, in the middle ages people slept together in one big bed. It was not uncommon for families to have one enormous large bed to sleep in with all the children.

If that was not scandalous enough, wait…as the wise man said to Jesus, “There’s Myrrh”. If we went to a hotel today, we would expect to be put up in a private room with our very own personal bed. In the middle ages personal space was not highly valued at all, and they were very communal in their approach to life. Therefore, the idea of being alone was not an attractive one, so much so that being a secluded monk had more shock value in the medieval world than it does today.

If you walked into a hotel in the 12th century, you could expect to get into the same big bed and snuggle up next to strangers. I don’t know about you, but what if you slept next to someone with a highly contagious disease or God forbid some pervert? It does not bear thinking about. Yeah, sure, the first one of happy families sleeping in the same bed sounds great, but…next to strangers? No… not for all the money in the world.

Kings would often have their subjects lay at their bedside throughout the night and chat at length. It is kind of like how me and you as teenagers had sleep overs with our friends. We would stay up late at night and chat until one of us fell asleep. These types of sleeping arrangements seem to have continued to this day. For example, our kids are always getting into my bed, and it feels natural for them to want to sleep with their parents. Teenagers still value the incredibly fun sleep over with their highly valued friends. However, I think the one where we sleep with strangers should stay in the middle ages don’t you?

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