As you study Greek mythology, you may learn about Hypnos, who was the god of sleep. Hypnos is generally considered to be a benevolent god who helped mortals sleep. Of course, tucked into bed on your comfortable mattress with fluffy pillows and soft blankets, sleep likely comes pretty easily. But if you need help easing into slumber, a few stories from Greek mythology might be just the thing to bring sweet dreams.
Who Was Hypnos?
Hypnos is usually depicted as living in the underworld in a big cave. The river Lethe originated in this cave, and it’s also the place where day and night met. Hypnos’s bed was made out of ebony, and hypnotic plants grew plentifully at the entrance to the cave. The cave was devoid of light and sound as well.
- Overview of Hypnos: Hypnos lived in Erebos, which was the land of eternal darkness.
- Who Was Hypnos? Hypnos was said to visit people at night to help them ease into a state of rest, and he hid from the sun during the day.
- From Hypnos to Hamlet to Zombies, a Look at Our Obsession With Sleep and Death: Sleep and death, both unconscious states, have long been sources of fascination in human culture.
- The Art of Providing Anesthesia in Greek Mythology: Hypnos worked with other gods to produce certain types of dreams, perhaps scary ones featuring beasts or exciting fantasy stories.
- Did Ancient People Wander Through a Mystical World Each Night? As the Greeks attempted to understand sleep, they created stories to explain dreams and the relative unconscious state of sleep.
- Hypnos: The Savior of the Sleep-Deprived: When ancient Greeks suffered from insomnia, they appealed to Hypnos, the god of sleep.
The Family Lineage of Hypnos
Hypnos and his twin brother Thanatos lived next to each other in the underworld. The son of Nyx and Erebus, Hypnos was part of a family associated with night and darkness. Hypnos was married to Pasithea, the result of a promised marriage by Hera, wife of Zeus. Pasithea was the deity associated with relaxation and hallucinations.
- History of Hypnos: Hypnos had a twin brother named Thanatos, and they lived in the underworld without light from the sun and moon.
- The Greek God Hypnos: Hypnos was a son of Nyx, and his sons were said to be the bringers of dreams.
- Sleep and His Half-Brother Death: The cave Hypnos lived in had poppies and other types of hypnotic plants at its entrance, and it did not have a door, so Hypnos wouldn’t be disturbed by the noise of hinges.
- Social, Cultural, and Environmental Influences on Sleep: Greek mythology depicts Hypnos as gentle and benevolent, bringing restorative sleep to mortals.
Greek Mythology Featuring Hypnos
One of the best-known myths featuring Hypnos involves Zeus and Hera. In this story, Hera wanted to trick Zeus, so she went to Hypnos for help in putting Zeus to sleep. Hypnos wasn’t sure he wanted to help, but Hera promised that he could marry Pasithea if he participated in her plan. Hypnos wanted to marry Pasithea, so he put Zeus to sleep. While Zeus was sleeping, Hypnos called on Poseidon to intervene in an ongoing war. As a result, Hera’s side won the war, and Zeus never found out that Hypnos had put him to sleep.
- The Immortals: Hypnos: Nyx had many children, including Hypnos. Hypnos entered the sleep of mortals to give them dreams.
- The God Hypnos: Hypnos was the younger of twins, and he imitated his brother in everything.
- Hypnos: God of Sleep: Initially known as the god of sleep, eventually, Hypnos was called the god of anesthesia.
- When Sleep Is Intertwined With Myth: Greeks valued sleep because it enabled them to escape from their problems. They also viewed their dreams as important clues to understanding their waking world.
- World, Underworld, Overworld, Dreamworld: The Greeks believed that Hypnos touched mortals with a magic wand or fanned them with his wings to make them sleep.
Joe Auer is the editor of Mattress Clarity. He mainly focuses on mattress reviews and oversees the content across the site.
He likes things simple and take a straightforward, objective approach to his reviews. Joe has personally tested nearly 250 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. He has been testing mattresses for over 5 years now, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to mattress selection. He has been cited as an authority in the industry by a number of large publications.
Joe has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Columbia University.
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