The phenomena of sleep and the concept of night-time are experiences that most people take for granted as a natural part of their daily lives. However, both ideas and practices concerning sleeping and night-time are constantly changing and widely differ between cultures and societies. Night-time and Sleep in Asia and the West traces the many different associations attached to the night as well as highlighting the diverse sleep patterns and attitudes towards sleep between cultures.
Drawing on case studies from China, Japan, India and Europe the contributors address:
* Notions of sleep and sleeping time in pre-Buddhist Chinese texts
* The concept of the 'mid-day nap'
* Historical developments of sleep patterns determined by socio-economic changes
* The role of sleep in the life of the homeless and the military
* The relationship between fear and sleep
* Night-time behavior of the young in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
This book suggests that far from being natural phenomena, sleep and night-time are sites of political struggle between groups as distinct as religious leaders, school boards and political parties. The essays here provide an important resource for students of Asian and Cultural Studies and will also appeal to hte general reader interested in such a rarely studied everyday event.