Dr Neil Stanley Independent Sleep Expert
BACK ‘Maxims of Early Rising’, The World We Live In, 15 July, 35. ‘Early Rising’, Arkansas Gazette; Tissot, Treatise on the Diseases Produced by Onanism, 70; here  SLEEP. What may be faid upon fleep is reduced to three articles; its length, the time of taking it, and the neceffary precautions to enjoy it with tranquillity. Seven, or at moft eight hours fleep are fufficient for adult people; it is dangerous to fleep more, or continue longer in bed, for too much repofe produces the fame diforders as too much fleep. If any might be allowed to go beyond this time, it would be thofe who take a great deal of exercife of a violent kind in the day-time; but thefe are not the people who addict themfelves to it: on the contrary, the moft fedentary people are the fondeft of their bed. Therefore this term fhould never be prolonged, without a perfon is come to that pitch of weaknefs that he has not ftrength fufficient to remain long up; and in this cafe, he fhould keep out of bed as long as he could, ‘The lefs we fleep,’ fays Mr. Lewis, ‘reft is the fweeter and the more ftrengthening.’ It is demonftrable that night air is lefs falutary than that of the day, and that weak patients are more fulceptible of its influence at night than in the morning; we fhould therefore confecrate that time to reft, when we are confined to a fmall part of the atmofphere, and which we equally tend to corrupt ; that time when the air is the leaft falutary, and when unwholefome air would be the moft obnoxious to us; we fhould therefore, go to bed early, and rife foon in the morning: this precept is fo well known, that it may be looked upon as trifling to repeat it; but it is fo much neglected, and its importance (which is infinitely greater than is imagined) feems to be fo little confidered, that it is very allowable to fuppofe it unknown, and to recal it by infifting on its confequences, particularly to valetudinarians.  If (fays’ Mr. Lewis) ‘he lies down at ten o’clock, which hour he fliould never exceed, he ought to rife in the fummer at four or five ; in the winter at fix or  feven. It is abfolutely neceffary, he adds,  to forbid a patient afflcted with the difeafe I am preferibing to, an indulgence in bed in the morning.’ He would have him even accuftom himfelf to rife immediately after his firft fleep, and affures us, that though this practice may be irkfome at firft, cuftom will make it familiar and agreeable. There are many examples to prove the falubrity of this advice. Many valetudinarians, who find themfelves very well upon waking from their firft found and quiet sleepp, are very uneafy if they fall afleep again; and they are fure to pafs the day well, if whatever hour it may be, they rife after their firft sleep, and to pafs it difagreeably, if they take a fecond. A perfon can never fleep found, but when he is quite free from all caufes of irritation ; they fhould therefore be prevented : there are three Important precautions to be obferved; firft not to be in too warm an air, and to be neither too much nor too little covered; fecondly, to prevent the feet being cold in bed, which is a common cafe with weak people, and which is pernicious to them for fevcral reafons. Hippocrates’s rule in this place fhould be obferved ‘fleep in a cool place, and take care to be well covered;’ and thirdly, it is of ftill greater confequcnce to have the flomach not full; nothing in the world more difturbs fleep, or renders it more uneafv', painful, and burtherfome, than difficult dlgeftion at night. A depreffion of fpirits, weaknefs, diftafte, wearinefs, an incapacity of thinking or application the next day, are its inevitable confequences. Vides ut pallidus omnis Caena defurgat duh a? quin corpus onuflum Hefternis vitiis animum quoque degravat una  Atque affl’git humo divinae partlculum aura. Hor.- On the contrary, nothing contributes more to promote gentle, eafy, and uninterrupted fleep, than a light fupper, being a good reftoratlve. Frefhnefs, agility, and gaiety, the next day, are its neceffarv confequences. Alter, ubi dicto citius curata fopori Membra dedit, vigetus prafcripta ad munia furgit. Ibid.   The time of fleep, fays Mr. Lewis with great reafon, is that of nutrition and not of digeftion; he is alfo very rigorous in his prefcriptions to his patients with regard to fupper; he forbids, very juftly, all kinds of meat at night; he allows them nothing but a little milk and fome dices of bread, which they muft take two hours before going to rest, that the firft digsftion may be over before they go to sleep. The inhabitants of the Atlantic Islands, who were unacquainted with all animal diet, and who never eat aught that had been endued with life, were. famous for uninterrupted sleep, and were ignorant of what it was to dream. Eugene Becklard, Physiological Mysteries and Revelations in Love, Courtship and Marriage: an Infallible Guide-Book for Married and Single Persons, in Matters of the Utmost Importance to the Human Race, trans. Philip M. Howard (New York, 1844), 220; Breklard here  We comprise what we have to say respecting sleep under three heads ; its duration, the time to take it, and the precautions necessary to enjoy it undisturbed. Seven hours of sleep, or at the most eight, are sufficient for all adult persons; to sleep more, and remain longer in bed, is not without danger,—the latter occasions the same evils as excessive repose. If any might give themselves up to it for a longer time, it would be those who take much and violent exercise during the day; but those are not the persons who do it, on the contrary—it is those who lead the most sedentary life; thus we must never exceed that term, unless reduced to such a degree of weakness as leaves us without the strength necessary for remaining long up— in that case we must keep so as much as possible. " The less we sleep," says Lewis, " the sweeter and more refreshing is our sleep." It is demonstrated that the air of night is less salutary than that of the day, and that the sick are more susceptible of its influence in the evening than in the morning; we must then consecrate to sleep, during which we are confined to a very small parcel of the atmosphere, which we also cannot avoid corrupting, the time when the air is the least healthy, and that when the inspiration of a less healthy air would be more hurtful to us ; thus we must go to bed in good time, and rise early : it is so well known a precept, that it is, perhaps, trivial to repeat it; but it is so neglected, people seem so little to feel its importance, which is much greater than they believe, that we are almost justified in supposing it to be unknown, and to remind them of its importance, above all to valetudinarians : " If we retire to bed at ten (we ought never to be later)," says Lewis, " we ought to rise in summer at four or five, in winter at six or seven. It is absolutely necessary to forbid persons attacked with this disorder from remaining in bed after eight in the morning." He even would wish persons to habituate themselves to get up after the first sleep, and affirms, that however difficult of adoption that custom may be in the beginning, it will soon become easy and agreeable. Several examples prove the soundness of advice. There are several valetudinarians who feel quite comfortable on waking torn a first quiet and deep sleep, and who experience great uneasiness if they suffer themselves again to fall asleep; they are as sure to pass the day well, if, whatever may be the hour, they rise after their first sleep, as they are to pass it disagreeably if they give themselves up to the second. Sleep is only quiet when there is no cause of irritation, thus we ought to endeavour to prevent any; three of the most important things to be attended to are—1st. Not to be in a warm air, and to have neither too many nor too few bedclothes; 2nd— Not to get into bed with cold feet, an accident very common to weak persons, and which is injurious to them for several reasons. We ought, in this respect, to conform exactly to the rule of Hippocrates— to sleep in an airy place, and be careful to cover ourselves; and 3rd, which is still more important, not to have the stomach full ; nothing in the world so much disturbs our sleep, renders it uneasy, painful, unrefreshing, as difficult digestion during the night. Lowness of spirits, weakness, disgust, ennui, incapacity of thought and action the next day are its inevitable results. Nothing on the contrary more efficaciously contributes to procure a quiet, continuous and refreshing sleep than a light supper. The freshness, agility, liveliness of the next day are the necessary consequences of it. " The time pf sleep is that of nutrition and not that of digestion," says Lewis, " and he therefore requires from his patient the strictest obedience to his injunctions respecting their supper ; he forbids them, and most justly, from eating any kind of meat in the evening ; he only permits them a little milk, with a slice of bread, and that two hours before going to bed, that the first digestion may be finished before sleep. The Arcantes, who were unacquainted with animal food, who never ate anything that had been possessed of life, were celebrated for the tranquility of their sleep, and knew not what it was to dream.  ‘‘Don’t Sleep Well’’’, Hall’s Journal of Health (Oct. 1855); here "DON'T SLEEP WELL." Since the fullest amount of sleep is as essential to the healthful working of mind and body as necessary food, it may be well to know how to secure it, as a general rule. 1. Clarify your conscience. 2. Take nothing later than two o'clock, P. M., except some bread and butter, and a small cup of weak tea of any kind, or half a glass of water, for supper. 3. Go to bed at some regular early hour. Get up the moment you wake of yourself, even if at midnight. 4. Do not sleep an instant in the day time. Unless your body is in a condition to require special medical advice, nature will regulate your sleep to the wants of the system, in less than a month ; and you will not only go to sleep at once, but will sleep soundly. " Second naps" and siestas make the mischief. Note in this passage “second naps” clearly refers to sleep in the daytime and has nothing to do with Ekirch’s conception of ‘segmented sleep’ Some Advice About Sleep’, San Francisco Bulletin; Horace Leslie, ‘On the Advantages of Early Rising’, Every Boy’s Magazine, 1 Dec. 1864, 47–8; ‘Sleep — No. I’, Glasgow Herald, 18 May 1889. BACK
© Dr. Neil Stanley 2013-2018