Sleep was represented in a variety of literature of the day. Samuel Daniel’s influential sonnet sequence, Delia, features a poem addressed to “Care-charmer sleepe,” the most famous example of a sub-genre of poetry devoted to sleep. Other Elizabethans who wrote on this topic include Sir Philip Sidney and William Shakespeare.
Richard Braithwaite, an Oxford-educated poet and satirist, wrote a compendium of stories and aphorisms with a range of moralizing functions, from teaching moderation to scrutinizing fashion, but it takes its title--Art Asleep Husband? A boulster lecture--from the figure of a scolding wife “lecturing” her husband while he pretends to sleep.
Medical writers, like Somerset physician Tobias Venner, also had something to say about the benefits and detriments of certain sleep. Venner argues for the benefits of sleeping with one’s mouth open. He also stresses sleep’s link to “concoction,” or digestion, which he deems “the root of life.”