Sleep Fictions: A Digital Companion


Skundus's super ability to sleep in any environment suggests a parody of Booker T. Washington's sermons on sleep adaptability. The skill of adapting to any sleep environment is something that Booker T. Washington expounds upon at multiple points in his writing. In Up from Slavery (1901),* for instance, Washington observes: "When I find myself unable to sleep well, I know that something is wrong. If I find any part of my system the least weak, and not performing its duty, I consult a good physician. The ability to sleep well, at any time and in any place, I find of great advantage. I have so trained myself that I can lie down for a nap of fifteen or twenty minutes, and get up refreshed in body and mind" (316).   

Washington recounts the sleep-related difficulties he faced while enslaved and after Emancipation and suggests that he developed a willpower over sleep through such adversity. These skills, he explains, influenced the sleep hygiene curriculum he implemented at Tuskegee:*Permalink:

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