Rowand House | Fort Edmonton Park

Why do we say that?: “Sleep tight”

Why do we say that?

Many of us have fond memories of mom and dad tucking us in to bed at the end of the day, turning out the light and saying “sleep tight!” We understood that they were telling us to have a good sleep, but where does the expression “sleep tight” actually come from?

Well, back in the 1800s instead of putting a mattress on a wooden or metal base like we do today, mattresses were placed on supports made of rope. These ropes would have to be pulled tight to provide support for the mattress, possibly leading to the expression “sleep tight.”

If you’re interested in seeing what one of these old rope beds would have looked like, visit the upper floor of Rowand House at the 1846 Fort. Along the sides of the bed you’ll see ropes holding the mattress up! What do you think “ does this sound like a comfortable way to sleep?