Community & Culture

8 Sleep Superstitions to Put to Rest

Did you have difficulty sleeping last night? Perhaps it’s because you changed your bedding on Friday or turned your mattress last Sunday.


Superstitions like these have no scientific basis, but according to a CBS News poll, slightly more than half of all Americans consider themselves a little superstitious – and no day arouses superstition more than today, Friday the 13th.

Some people derive a sense of security from doing everything they can to ensure a desired outcome, including a strong belief in the irrational, according to WebMD, and this belief may actually cause a placebo effect that helps perpetuate the superstition.

Here are eight superstitions about sleep.

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  1. A single woman who sleeps with a piece of wedding cake under her pillow will dream of her future husband, according to And if that single woman marries the man in her dreams, the first person to fall asleep on their wedding night will be the first to die, according to Richard Webster, author of The Encyclopedia of Superstitions.
  2. The Encyclopedia of Superstitions also states that since the soul leaves the body during sleep, a sleepwalker should never be awakened because his soul may not be able to return to his body.
  3. Dreams are great fodder for superstitions: “Dreams at night are a devil’s delight, dreams in the morning, heed the angels’ warning,” “If you have the same dream three times in a row, it’s bound to come true,” and “If you sleep in a strange bed, whatever you dream will come true” are a few of the most popular superstitions, according to
  4. There’s even a superstition for resourceful young women who like to sew or knit their own bedcovers. According to, a single woman who has left a bedspread or quilt unfinished will not marry. Also, women seeking holy matrimony should make the head of the bed before the foot, and once they’re happily married, sew a swan’s feather in their spouse’s pillow to insure fidelity, according to
  5. You must get in and out of your bed on the same side or bad luck will follow you, according to If you happen to get out of the bed on the wrong side, you can redeem yourself by donning your right sock and shoe before the left, and always be sure your right foot touches the floor first.
  6. If you are making your bed, don’t let yourself be interrupted or you’ll have bad dreams that night, according to Also, to avoid all sorts of dire consequences, don’t lean your broom up against the bed, hang a picture over the head of the bed, leave your shoes under the bed, or place a mirror so it faces your bed.
  7. You should sleep with your head pointing north as this will align your body with the earth’s magnetic waves, allowing for a more peaceful sleep, the encyclopedia states. However, in Japan, sleeping with your head pointed north is considered bad luck because that’s how bodies are positioned at Buddhist funerals, according to This belief is called “kita-makura” or north-facing pillow.
  8. The act of leaving your hat on the bed is seemingly harmless, but according to Huffington Post, it can bring years of bad luck. Although there are many theories as to how this superstition came about — it was a practical measure to prevent lice from spreading, or, perhaps, to avoid drawing attention to the fact that you really enjoy going to the rodeo -- it’s probably best to play it safe and just put your hat away.

Hanging a dreamcatcher above your bed or knocking on the door of an unfamiliar bedroom to scare away bad spirits might be sleep remedies, but you also need a mattress that’s comfortable. If you wake up feeling tired and achy, or your mattress shows signs of wear, it’s time to replace it.

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