Anatomy of Melancholy, 249-250 – Pt. I, Sec. 2, Mem. II, Subs. 7 – Sleeping and Waking, Causes


A of M 249-250


Well, this section is brief and straightforward:

“Nothing is better than moderate sleep, nothing worse than it if it be in extremes or unseasonably used.”

Be particularly careful not to sleep “overmuch” because too much sleep will induce a “great store of excrements in the brain.”

Also, do not sleep after “hard meats” because you might attract an incubus. I love this book.

(It is worth noting that Burton was pretty ahead of his time here in recognizing that insomnia and fatigue are symptoms of depression, and that sleep deprivation is also a cause: “Waking overmuch is both a symptom and an ordinary cause.”)


This post is part of a long, tedious, and very illustrated read-along of Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy. More info here and follow along on Facebook here. Illustrations posted via devon_isadevon on Instagram. Page numeration follows the 2001 New York Review of Books edition.


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