A piece by Andy Wright in Atlas Obscura on media coverage of people who have slept through momentous or dangerous events -- from earthquakes and carjackings to abductions and naval battles.
The field of idleness studies has been quietly busy in recent years. Notable post-2000 works on the cultural history of inactivity include Sarah Jordan's The Anxieties of Idleness (Bucknell University Press, 2003), which focuses on tensions between idleness and industriousness in eighteenth-century British literature and culture; Pierre Sant-Amand's The Pursuit of Laziness (Princeton University Press, 2011), which examines idleness and non-productivity in Enlightenment thought; Andrew Lyndon Knighton's Idle Threats (NYU Press, 2012), which explores the "productivity of the unproductive" in nineteenth-century America; Richard Adelman's Idleness, Contemplation and the Aesthetic 1750-1830 (Cambridge University Press, 2014), which argues for the centrality of idle repose to the British Romantic imagination; and Monika Fludernik and Miriam Nandi's edited collection, Idleness, Indolence and Leisure in English Literature (Palgrave, 2014), which ranges from the late medieval period to the twenty-first century, and includes chapters on the relations between idleness and class, gender and national identity. None of these books have a tremendous amount to say about sleep, but that's all the more reason for students of sleep to get thinking about how their subject intersects with, and differs from, idleness.
It took a gruelling session of all-night talks for the Greek government to reach a bailout deal with its eurozone creditors. Given the harmful effects of sleep-deprivation on decision-making, The Guardian wonders whether all parties involved would have been better-advised to sleep on it.
A New York Times article from April of this year about a cheap way to ameliorate (or not) the negative effects on sleep of cellphone or e-reader light.