Do you struggle with getting a good night’s sleep? You’re not alone. While there are many factors that can contribute to poor sleep quality, including stress, anxiety, and poor sleep hygiene, sometimes the solution to better sleep can be found in unexpected places.
Throughout human history, people have turned to stories and myths to help them make sense of the world and find meaning in their lives. But did you know that these same stories can also be a powerful tool for promoting better sleep? From ancient myths and legends to modern literature and poetry, stories have the power to soothe our minds and transport us to a place of peace and tranquility.
The best stories always leave us wanting more. So we put on our detective outfits, selected 10 of our most popular sleeping stories, and dug a little to discover amazing facts hidden within.
So grab a cup of tea, get cozy, and let’s explore the world of bedtime stories together.
1. The Brightest Star
Sirius was discovered over three hundred years ago, blinking and glowing at some distant point in the sky. That’s all the way back in 1718. In ancient languages, Sirius means burning, scorching. You can see its brightness no matter where you look. Sirius has oft been called the rainbow star, for its light shines both white and blue no other star we know of possesses this quality.
They called it “Sopdet” in ancient Egypt, whereas Arabic cultures named it “Shiaara” and in the Greek Helenistic period it was dubbed “Seirios”. Almost fifty thousand names have been given to this magnificent star all across the world.
Discover more information about Sirius listening to our story, “The Brightest Star”.
Have your ever heard about Antakya? The city gets its name from Antiochus whose son, Seleucus, founded and built the city in the year 300BC. It remained the capital of the Hatay Province until the advent of the Roman Empire. Many civilizations have lived in these lands since then from the Ottoman Empire, to the the British Empire, to the French, until the city became part of Turkey. As a result of all these historical developments, the city is speckled with the relics of many different civilizations, religions, and cultures.
Antakya’s landscape ise a home for many beautiful Laurel Trees. The evergreen leaves of the Laurel Tree give it its reputation as the Tree of Life, otherwise known as the Tree of Immortality, and sure, there is an interesting legend behind its name.
If you would like to take stroll throught he streets of Antakya, listen to our story “Daphne”.
3. Semiramis and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Have you ever heard of Babylon? And what of Babylon’s Hanging Gardens? Babylon’s Hanging Gardens is counted among the Seven Wonders of the World. Some say that these Hanging Gardens were created by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar the Second. And yet others say that the Hanging Gardens never existed at all; they were simply depictions of heaven, rendering the layers and layers of balconies where countless flowers bloomed and the exquisite architecture straight out of a dream to mere legends. Still others believed that these gorgeous gardens were created by the Assyrian Queen Semiramis.
To learn about the legends about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, listen to our story, “Semiramis and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon”.
4. Artemis of Ephesus
In Anatolian and Greek myths, Artemis, namely known as mother goddess, had spread from Anatolia to Mesopotamia, from there to Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Egypt, from there to Aegean islands, Greece and Italy. We can even track her mark in Scandinavian history books. We can say that it had been originated from Central Anatolia. She is a goddess symbolizing abundence and earth; however, it has become harder to track her journey and refer to only one Artemis since she had been mentioned with several different names and become mythical in different eras and regions. Artemis of Ephesus, on the other hand, has its origin in Ironia region.
Ephesus is an ancient Greek city, having remains of the Roman era. It is one of the twelve cities of Ionia. Its foundation dates back to the 6th millenium BCE, to the stone age. In the later years, the area, also, gained importance for its significant role in spreading Christianity. Ephesus was one of the most important cities in that era. Its grand temples, the biggest library of the region, its academy… Being a port city enabled the city to advance in trade and art.
How about a journey towards Ephesus? Get to know the goddess Artemis listen to our story “Artemis of Ephesus”.
5. The Creation of Iguazu Falls
Few places in life are as breathtaking as the Iguazu River. Sprawled on the border of Brazil and Argentina, it is the largest waterfall in the world.
The water cascades off the edges of its cliffs which draw uneven patterns and lines like the rising skirt of a dancer, twirling around. The waters foam as they plunge down into the awaiting canyon; their everlasting song-cry resonating in the sky, like the ripples of a story told so long ago. A permanent rainbow stretches and arches over the waterfall, from a palm tree on one end to a large rock on it other. At the epicenter of the tremulous body of water below rest a cluster of trees, seeming to defiantly rise out of the water and towards the turquoise of the sky. They remind one of wildflowers that obstinately grow out of the cracks in sidewalks; finding a way to cling to life no matter the odds. Lush, green blooms of tree tops creep to the edges of the cliffs hat cut a canyon a canyon through the earth, almost as if masses of land had been pulverized or else sculpted out. And if you were to believe the legend of the Iguazu Falls, they were.
Curious about the legend? Check out our story, “The Creation of Iguazu Falls”.
6. Tikal – 2.000 years of Mayan history
Tikal is the great and ancient city of the Mayan civilization, nestled in the rainforests of Guatemala. It was called Yax Mutal in the past, and Mayans lived there between the 6th and 10th centuries. It is a city of stone built by human hands; stone weathered and chipped with rain and moisture, its color blanched in some parts but darkened with rain in others. The color gradient stands starkly against the lush forest around it. Trees taller than life itself stretch into the sky, a blue so perfect you could never find its equal anywhere else in the world. Trees so thick-leaved and branches braiding tightly together make the forest so dense you can hardly see beyond its borders.
Travel to the heart of this Mayan city with our story “Tikal.”
7. Alcyone and Ceyx – A Mediterranean love story
People have sailed across the crystalline waters of the Mediterranean for years. They cast nets and lines into the sea, caught fish, and built houses on the sandy beaches or palaces atop the tall cliffs. On this ancient geography, tales of the sea as old as time lives on.
Ailos -a son of Poseidon, the god of the sea- commanded the four winds, Notos, Boreas, Euros, and Zephyros. These winds could only ever blow across the waters and the lands on Zeus’ commands. Eventually, Ailos had a beautiful daughter named Alcyone. Who later in life married Ceyx and, according to the legend, lived together to mock many gods.
The couple was turned into Halcyon birds. Wondering why?
You are invited to listen to the story of happiness these lovers set on the Mediterranean coast with our story “Alcyone and Ceyx”.
8. Hades and Persephone – Brothers, enemies, and marriage
Do you know of Hades? Have you heard of how the golden helmet he wears renders him invisible? In fact, the word “Hades” itself means “hidden.” On top of that, this merciless god holds a spear with two sharpened ends, one representing life and the other death…
Hades is the god of the land of the dead and the underworld. He is the brother of the God Zeus. In his fight against the titans, Zeus divided up the world with his two brothers. He took the endless skies for himself. To Poseidon, he gave the seas and to Hades the underworld. Hades ruled over all the creatures, resources, and wealth found beneath the earth.
But there was thing he couldn’t have freely… Persephone. Also known as “the Queen of the underground.” 😉
If you are curious about what happens between these brothers, listen to our story, “Hades and Persephone.”
9. Quetzal – Mesmerizing dragon of the sky
Now we travel to the deepest lands of Guatemala. Where a resplendent bird is known to all living creatures. But this bird is not a utopic one. Quetzals really exist and are the national bird of this country!
With its emerald green feathers, ruby-red belly, and spiky black head, it’s impossible not to feel tenderness once you see it. Quetzals also decorate the Guatemalan flag, coat of arms, and currency. But beware! The Quetzal isn’t simply renowned for its beauty. It also has robust historic and spiritual ties to the K’iche Mayan people indigenous.
Feeling curious? Check out our story, Quetzal, to discover one of the most enduring and captivating legends of the K’iche Mayan people.
10. The Epic Love of Orpheus & Eurydice
This Greek myth inspired numerous works of literature, operas, ballets, paintings, plays and more recently, films and video games.
Orpheus of Thrace was an elegant bard. He played his lyre with such finesse that all creatures nearby would fall into a great silence. And even trees would lean their branches toward him. It was impossible not to be captivated by his magical tunes.
One day the notes fluttered around an oak tree, winding around its leaves till nightfall as the tree’s branches leaned into the tune. Back then, it was believed that each tree had a nymph charged with protecting the tree, their lifespans intertwined. And who was the nymph? Eurydice!
If you wonder what happens next in this ancient tale, listen to our story, “The Epic Love of Orpheus & Eurydice.”