5 nuggets about sleep and beds related to Stoke on Trent
With one of our bed shops based in Stoke on Trent, the city has always been important to us as a business. Stoke is a city with a rich history – and one we felt compelled to tell from the perspective of sleep.
From the early-rising factory workers in Stoke's industrial revolution days to the students of Staffordshire University (and their less rigid sleeping patterns), the city has seen a transformation in the way its residents spend their downtime at nights.
So below we’ve unearthed five nuggets about Stoke-on-Trent trivia for those who treasure their time in bed...
Sleepless nights at Ford Green Hall
Ford Green Hall is Stoke's most senior building, with the oldest parts of the house dating back to 1624. This means it's seen more nights of sleep than any other building in the city. However, not all of its inhabitants will have woken up feeling well rested.
Like all good old houses, Ford Green Hall is associated with paranormal activity and has attracted its fair share of ghost hunters. Some say it's haunted by two female ghosts, and there have been reports of strange noises and lights coming from the building which is now a museum.
Stoke's industry and the sleep revolution
During the Industrial Revolution Stoke-on-Trent was one of the UK's most important cities, making a name for itself as the centre of the UK's pottery industry with big names such as Royal Doulton, Spode, and Wedgwood establishing there.
What many people don't realise is that during the industrial revolution there was another revolution going on in people's bedrooms.
Traditionally poor factory workers would work long hours, coming home to a dark house. If you couldn't afford a candle there wasn't much to do apart from go to bed early. During the long nights people would settle into a natural segmented sleeping pattern, which is still the norm in some undeveloped countries. They would wake up for a couple of hours in the middle of the night for some recreation time before going back to sleep before work the next morning.
With the arrival of artificial street lighting in the 19th century, and later electric lighting, our sleeping patterns started to shift to the single sleep cycle we're used to today.
Potty humour from Stoke
Before the arrival of indoor plumbing outdoor toilets were the norm, and so was a chamber pot under the bed – for those times when nature calls in middle the night. As the centre of the UK's pottery industry
Stoke-on-Trent was a great contributor to the nation’s nocturnal habits in the days before the indoor loo, helping to minimise the time people spent out of bed at night.
It wasn't always a po-faced industry though and Stoke's pottery makers would occasionally inject some cheeky humour into their chamber pots. Notable novelty chamber pots include ones featuring the likeness of Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler, for users to launch their own attacks on England's enemies before settling down to a more restful sleep.
Falling in Bed with Robbie Williams
Robbie Williams is Stoke's most famous former resident (with the exception of maybe Guns & Roses guitarist Slash). Back in 1997 he was inadvertently raising awareness of a common sleep sensation with his song 'Falling in Bed (again)'.
The song may have just been an obscure B-Side for the singer but the sensation of falling in bed is well known by people around the world. Involuntary twitches associated with a feeling of falling just before drifting off to sleep are known as hypnic jerks. They occur randomly and there's no clear cause, though some believe it's a leftover reflex from when humans slept in trees.
Home to a good night's sleep
Whether mild or severe sleep apnoea, the obstruction of airflow during sleep, can greatly affect how rested sufferers feel when waking up in the morning. It can also impact the sleep of those who share a bed with a sufferer as a common side effect of sleep apnoea is snoring.
For residents of Stoke help is on hand in the form of the Sleep Apnoea Trust Association, which has a base in the city. Their aim is to improve the lives of sleep apnoea patients, their families and their partners, making sure the money invested in a new bed or mattress doesn't go to waste.
If you're looking for a new bed, please feel free to call into our bed shop in Stoke on Trent.