E. T. A. Hoffmannin 'Sandman' tarinassa mainitaan Sandman joka, toisin kuin tavanomainen Nukkumatti, heittää hiekkaa valvovien lasten silmille jolloin ne kuivuva ja pulpahtavat ulos. Tämän jälkeen hän vide silmän ruuaksi hirviömäisille lapsilleen. Onko tarinalla mitään pohjaa vai oliko tämä Hoffmannin oma keksintö?
Wikipedia kertoo nukkumatin perustuvan toisaalta skandinaviseen olentoon Nattmara. Mara oli ilkeämpi versio nukkumatista ja aiheutti ihmisille painajaisunia tai unihalvauksia.
"In Scandinavia, there was once the famous race of Nattmara. The mara (or, in English, "nightmare") appears as a skinny young woman, dressed in a nightgown, with pale skin and long black hair and nails. After turning into sand, they could slip through the slimmest crack in the wood of a wall and terrorize the sleeping by "riding" on their chest, thus giving them nightmares. (This appears to describe "apparitions" commonly seen and/or felt during episodes of sleep paralysis.) They would ride cattle which, when touched by the Mara, would have their hair tangled and their energy drained. Trees would curl up and wilt when touched. In some tales, like the Banshee, they served as an omen of death. If one were to leave a dirty doll in a family living room, one of the members would soon fall ill and die of tuberculosis. ("Lung soot", another name for tuberculosis, referred to the effect of proper chimneys in 18th through 19th century homes. Inhabitants would therefore contract diseases due to inhaling smoke on a daily basis.)
There was some discrepancy as to how they came into being. Some stories say that the Maras are restless children, whose souls leave their body at night to haunt the living. If a woman were to have a horse placenta pulled over her head before giving birth, the children would be delivered safely, but her sons will turn into werewolves, and her daughters into maras." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scandinavian_folklore
Hoffmannin Nukkumatti, joka varastaa lasten silmät on varmaan hänen tulkintansa skandinaavisesta taruolennosta. https://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._T._A._Hoffmann