Dr Neil Stanley Independent Sleep Expert
BACK John Glaister, ‘Hygiene: for Nurses’, The Hospital Nursing Supplement, 22 Aug. 1896. here I am not sure what point Ekirch’s it trying to make here, what relevance does this passage have to segmented slumber of middle of the night insomnia? AMOUNT OF SLEEP REQUISITE FOR HEALTH. King Alfred’s division of the day—“ eight hours’ work, eight hours’ sleep, and eight hours’ play”—so far as sleep is concerned, is an excellent average arrangement. One general principle may be laid down, viz. that the younger the person is, the more sleep is required. Infants sleep, in health, from eighteen to twenty of the twenty four hours. Young children, up to the age of two and a half years, require not less than fourteen hours daily; until school age, twelve hours; in adolescence, ten hours and from that period till middle life, not less than eight hours. The aged sleep less than the young and middle aged, but for them ten to twelve hours’ daily rest in bed is beneficial in conserving their waning physical strength. The general reason for the longer periods of rest in those of tender years is that new growth as well as repair need to be attended to, whereas, as middle life is approached, it is only the daily waste that requires to be repaired. Many persons cultivate the habit of having less than eight hours daily for sleep. This may be borne with apparent impunity for a variably long period, but, in the end, evil effects are certain to follow. The brain worker, a fortiori, ought to secure eight hours’ sleep daily, for it is of prime importance that the principal tool he uses should be bright, keen, and ready for work. Insomnia and general nervousness are too often the indications of inadequate brain rest or of mental worry. Both may be prevented, in large measure, by attention to the proper hours and periods of sleep, and by making every other engagement subordinate to these. The self-administration of hypnotic drugs ought to be strenuously resisted and opposed, and, at the earliest manifestation of sleeplessness, the advice of an experienced physician obtained. Not a single word can be said in commendation of the too prevalent modern habit which converts the night into the day at the expense of sleep. Such is fraught with inevitable mischief. Scrivner, ‘That Sweet Secession’, 280–4; ‘To Cure Insomnia’, Dallas Morning News, 25 May 1900; ‘Insomnia’, Aberdeen American, 1 Sept. 1908. BACK
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