In my house, this has become a bit of a joke. Not knowing–or pausing to ask–the origin of the phrase sleep tight, we just sort of assumed it was related to being tucked in. Rowyn, who likes to be tucked and covered, “sleeps tight.” Xoe, who sleeps on top of her blankets, argues that she prefers to “sleep loose.” So every night, I call out to Rowyn, “Sleep tight, buddy!” and to Xoe, “Sleep loose, sweetie!”
Hasn’t gotten old yet. We still grin and chuckle over it pretty much every night.
But recently Xoe came darting out with her history book, which had a fun little lesson on the history of the phrase. Apparently, it dates to colonial times, when mattresses rested on ropes hung between the two sides of the bed frame. These ropes would be secured with metal fittings that had to be cranked periodically to keep them tight–to keep the mattress from sagging. So the phrase “sleep tight” originated as a sort of “hope your mattress doesn’t sag!” wish, LOL. Who knew? (Today’s equivalent would, I think, be for those sleeping on air mattresses…we all know to wish them a fully inflated sleep, right?)
When she shared this history with us, Rowyn was quick to say, “Ha! See, you sleep tight too!”
…don't let the bed bugs bite!
Ha! Kafka dreams indeed.