Dr Neil Stanley Independent Sleep Expert
BACK John H. Musser and A. O. J. Kelly (eds.), Handbook of Practical Treatment, 5 vols. (Philadelphia, 1912), iii, 862.  here  In addition to the psychic symptoms here described, the patient also suffers from insomnia. Mostly he has but little difficulty in falling asleep, but the sleep is broken, especially toward the morning hours, and the patient finds difficulty in falling asleep again. If he does, the second sleep is likely to be heavy and the awakening to be accompanied by a feeling of more or less marked prostration. Occasionally the sleep is interrupted a number of times, and often is accompanied by a desire to empty the bladder. Less frequently the patient has difficulty in falling asleep, the oncoming of the first sleep being delayed for an hour or more. The sleep of neurasthenics is rarely refreshing. The patient usually awakens with a feeling of lethargy and depression, and feels but little inclined to activity, especially in the early part of the day. Despite what Ekirch claims the patient being referred to is actually suffering from ‘Neurasthenia’, as made clear a little later in the passage,  of which insomnia is a symptom (‘Neurasthenia’- an ill-defined medical condition characterized by lassitude, fatigue, headache, and irritability, associated chiefly with emotional disturbance.) Not that in the unquoted part of the passage it is mentioned that “Occasionally the sleep is interrupted a number of times” ‘Old Insomnia Cures’, Tombstone Prospector, 19 Dec. 1891 OLD INSOMNIA CURES. Though Afraid or the Breath They Ordered All Windows Closed. To bedward be ye merry, or have merry company about you. so that, to bedward, no anger nor heaviness, sornes nor penaifulness do trouble or disquiet. To bedward and also in the morning, have a fire in your chamber, to waste and consume the evil vapors within the chamber. for the breath of man may putrify the air within the chamber, says a health book, published in 1542. In the night let the windows of your house, specially of your chamber, be closed; when you be in your bed, lie a little while on your left side and sleep on your right side. And when you do wake of your first sleep, then sleep on left side, and, look, so often as you do awake, so often turn yourself in the bed from one side to the other. To sleep on the back upward is utterly to be abhorred. When that you do sleep, let not your neck, neither your shoulders, neither your hands, nor feet, nor no other place of your body, lie bare undiscovered. Sleep not with an empty stomach, nor sleep not after that you have eaten meat, one hour or two after. Ekirch claims that some passages, including the above on has to presume, betray and “unthinking obedience to past usage by invoking the terms first and second sleep’ however it is exactly the same usage as used by Governal, In His Tretyse that is Cleped Governayle of Helthe (1490; New York, 1969) here  BACK
© Dr. Neil Stanley 2013-2018