||This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2010)|
The Sandman is a mythical character in Northern European folklore who brings good dreams by sprinkling magical sand onto the eyes of children while they sleep at night.
Representation in traditional folklore 
Traditionally, he is a character in many children's stories. He is said to sprinkle sand or dust on or into the eyes of the child at night to bring on dreams and sleep. The grit or "sleep" in one's eyes upon waking is supposed to be the result of the Sandman's work the previous evening.
Hans Christian Andersen's 1841 folk tale Ole Lukøje recorded the Sandman, named Ole Lukøje, by relating dreams he gave to a young boy in a week through his magical technique of sprinkling dust in the eyes of the children. Andersen wrote:
There is nobody in the world who knows so many stories as Ole-Luk-Oie, or who can relate them so nicely. In the evening, while the children are seated at the table or in their little chairs, he comes up the stairs very softly, for he walks in his socks, then he opens the doors without the slightest noise, and throws a small quantity of very fine dust in their eyes, just enough to prevent them from keeping them open, and so they do not see him. Then he creeps behind them, and blows softly upon their necks, till their heads begin to droop. But Ole-Luk-Oie does not wish to hurt them, for he is very fond of children, and only wants them to be quiet that he may relate to them pretty stories, and they never are quiet until they are in bed and asleep. As soon as they are asleep, Ole-Luk-Oie seats himself upon the bed. He is nicely dressed; his coat is made of silken fabric; it is impossible to say of what color, for it changes from green to red, and from red to blue as he turns from side to side. Under each arm he carries an umbrella; one of them, with pictures on the inside, he spreads over the good children, and then they dream the most beautiful stories the whole night. But the other umbrella has no pictures, and this he holds over the naughty children so that they sleep heavily, and wake in the morning without having dreams at all.
E.T.A. Hoffmann (1776–1822) wrote an inverse depiction of the lovable character in a story called Der Sandmann, which showed how sinister such a character could be made. According to the protagonist's nurse, he threw sand in the eyes of children who wouldn't sleep, with the result of those eyes falling out and being collected by the Sandman, who then takes the eyes to his iron nest on the moon, and uses them to feed his children. The protagonist of the story grows to associate this nightmarish creature with the genuinely sinister figure of his father's associate Coppelius. In Romanian folklore there is a similar character called Mos Ene (Ene the Elder).
In popular culture 
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (October 2012)|
||This section may contain excessive, poor, or irrelevant examples. (January 2013)|
The Sandman is a popular character in folklore referenced in popular culture over several centuries. Some noteworthy examples include:
- The 1967 book "Logan's Run" features people nicknamed 'Sandman', who bring sleep (kill) to people on their last day.
- The Jim Sullivan song Sandman from the 1969 album U.F.O
- The 1933 Walt Disney Silly Symphonies cartoon "Lullaby Land", which ends with the baby being put to sleep by the Sandman.
- The Big Friendly Giant in Roald Dahl's The BFG may be referencing the Sandman, due to his self-imposed role of travelling the world giving children good dreams.
- In the 1935 Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers classic 'Top Hat', Jerry Travers (played by Astaire), sprinkles sand on the floor and dances a slow dance, helping Dale Tremont (played by Rogers) sleep.
- The 1957 Soviet cartoon "The Snow Queen" is introduced by the Sandman.
- The 1958 Sandmännchen, a German children's bedtime television program of puppets in stop motion animation.
- Popular music, including "Mr. Sandman" popularized by the Chordettes, "The Japanese Sandman" (1920) by Raymond B. Egan and Richard A. Whiting, "Sandman" by America (band), "In Dreams" by Roy Orbison, "Enter Sandman" by Metallica, in "Mad Man Moon" by Genesis and "Mr. Sandman" from the album Tical by Method Man.
- The Sandman appears in The Smurfs episode "Darkness Monster" voiced by Frank Welker. When Papa Smurf and the Smurflings travel to the Land of Nod in order to obtain some sand in order to make Brainy Smurf's new glasses (after he lost them to the Darkness Monster when gathering chocolate from its cave with Clumsy Smurf), they end up meeting a grouchy Sandman after the previous one retired. After managing to convince the Sandman to help them, Sandman demands chocolate from the Darkness Monster's cave in exchange for giving the Smurfs the sand. Once this trade is done, Papa Smurf obtains the sand necessary to forge Brainy Smurf's new glasses.
- In The Real Ghostbusters episode "Mr. Sandman Dream me a Dream," a rogue sandman is the villain of the episode.
- The Charmed episode "Sand Francisco Dreamin'" includes an appearance by the Sandman.
- The Sandman appears in The Fairly OddParents episode "Beddy Bye" voiced by Jackie Mason. The Sandman is a mattress retail magnate and is referred to as Harvey Sandman and the Mattress King.
- In The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, there is a character called Steven the Sandman (voiced by Daran Norris) who resides in the dream world.
- Sandman appears in The Santa Clause 2 and The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause played by Michael Dorn. He is shown as a member of the Council of Legendary Figures (alongside Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Cupid, Mother Nature, Father Time, Tooth Fairy, and Jack Frost) and tends to fall asleep during meetings.
- The hit video game series Fallout has Mr. Sandman as a perk. The perk allows the player to gain extra experience from killing enemies in their sleep.
- In 2011, Peter Luisi filmed Der Sandmann (2011) [IMDb], the story about Benno, who was given the sandman's power burden, what made him prisoner of love and dreams.
- Sandman appears in Rise of the Guardians. He is one of the Guardians where he doesn't speak, but creates sand figures above his head to communicate with the other Guardians.
- The game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3: Sandman is the codename for Metal 0-1.
- A re-imagined version of the sandman called the Jinnamuru Xunte featured in the episode Mr. Sandman of the television series Grimm on March the 22d of 2013. The african Jinnamuru Xunte spews its victim's eyes with red worms that cause blindness and make the victim produce tears from on which the Jinnamuru feeds. The only cure for the worm blindness is a concoction made with one of the Jinnamuru Xunte's eyes.
- The Sandman is referenced in Bill Waterson's "Calvin and Hobbes" when a restless Calvin says, "Someone must have waylaid Mr. Sandman."
- Sandman was the assassin in the 1976 film Logan's Run. Also a celebrated Il2 pilot from 1946 who is said to be a master of sarcasm and wit.
- In John le Carré's trilogy of cold war spy novels The Quest For Karla, the Moscow Centre masterspy Karla was euphemistically nicknamed 'The Sandman' by the Circus, because he put to sleep - i.e. discovered and ultimately had killed - so many of the Circus' spies.
- Andersen, Hans Christian. Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
- Tatar, Maria (2003) . Hard Facts of the Grimms' Fairy Tales. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-01487-6.
- Hoffman, E.T.A. (1817). "Der Sandmann". Die Nachtstücke.