Dr Neil Stanley Independent Sleep Expert
BACK  James J. Walsh, ‘Insomnia as a Dread’, International Clinics, iv (1916), 52. I do not see the relevance of this passage to Ekirch’s argument It must be thoroughly understood, however, that the great majority of people, especially after the early twenties have been passed, cannot sleep full eight hours without wakefulness toward the end of the term. Most people of middle age wake rather promptly at the end of seven hours or a little less and then, while they may doze and nap a little,they will not get sound asleep again. Sometimes oversensitive patients will complain of this as insomnia because forsooth they cannot sleep all the hours that they are in bed. As a matter of fact, however, it is at least doubtful unless there has been some exceptional exertion, or some particular strain leading to more than usual fatigue, whether an ordinary healthy individual should ever sleep more than eight hours. To do so probably leads to the accumulation of energy which does not eventually do good. Many a person who wakes after five hours of sleep, however, will find that if no  attempt is made impatiently to go to sleep, but on the contrary sleep is quietly invited, he will very often quite naturally and easily drop to sleep for two or three hours or more. BACK
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