Dr Neil Stanley Independent Sleep Expert
BACK Sleep’, London Lady’s Newspaper and Pictorial Times, 21 June 1856, 18. GET ENOUGH SLEEP. We have often heard young men remark that four or five hours, sleep was all they wanted, and all that the human system required. The habit of going without sufficient sleep is injurious. Thousands, no doubt, permanently injure their health in that way. We live in a fast age, when every body seems to he trying to pervert the order of Nature. If folks-will persist in turning night into day, it is not to be wondered at that few last out the allotted term of life. No matter what may be a man's occupation —physical or mental, or like Othello's, "gone," and living in idleness —the constitution cannot last, depend upon it, without a sufficiency of regular and  refreshing sleep. John Hunter, the great surgeon, died suddenly of spasmodic affection of the heart, a disease greatly encouraged by the want of sleep. In a volume just published by a medical man there is one great lesson that hard students and literary men may learn, and that is, that Hunter probably lulled himself by taking too little sleep. "Four hours rest at night, and one after dinner, cannot be deemed sufficient to recruit the exhausted powers of the body and mind." Certainly not; and the consequence was that Hunter died early. If men will insist on cheating sleep, her "twin sister, death," will avenge the insult. ‘Early Rising’, Massachusetts Musical Journal, 1 Nov. 1855, 94; ‘Farmers Rise Too Early’, Sunday Oregonian (Portland), 6 Feb. 1896, 6. ‘On Early Rising’, Gazette of the Union and Golden Rule, 24 Mar. 1850, 192; The article is actually entitled ‘Early Rising’ and was in fact published on 23 March 1850 Vol XII no 12 here  EARLY rising -The Rev. Mr. Strachan. who used to rise every morning at five, said that he could not, by practice, convert the habit into a pleasant one. The honest divine would find few dissenters on this head. Eels may get used to being skinned; but unless a man has a natural gift for the exercise, he can never take delight in kicking off the bed-clothes on a cold morning, two hours before daylight.—[Pittsburgh Gazette]. Note that this passage  makes no mention of death ‘Protest against Early Rising’, Home Guardian, 1 Mar. 1868, 68; A Protest Against Early Rising Dr. Hall, in his Journal of Health, says: One of the very worst economies of time is that filched from necessary sleep. The wholesale, but blind commendation of early rising is as mischievous in practice as it was errant in theory. Early rising is a crime against the noblest part of our physical nature, unless preceded by an early retiring. Multitudes of business men in large cities count it a saving of time, if they can make a journey of a hundred or two miles at night, by steamboat or railway. It is a ruinous mistake. It never fails to be followed by a want of general well-feeling for several days after, if indeed, the man does not return home actually sick, or so near to it as to be unfit for full attention to his business for a | week afterwards. When a man leaves home on business it is always important that he should have bis wits about him, that the mind should be fresh and vigorous, the spirits lively, buoyant and cheerful. No man can say that it is thus with him after a night on the railroad or on the shelf of a steamboat. The first great recipe for sound, connected and refreshing sleep, is physical exercise. Toil is the price of sleep. We caution parents, particularly, not to allow their children to be waked up of mornings; let nature wake them up, she will not do it prematurely; but have a care that they go to bed at an early hour, let it be earlier and earlier, until it is found that they wake up themselves in full time to dress for breakfast. Being waked up early, and allowed to engage in difficult or any studies late, and just before retiring, has given many a beautiful and promising child brain fever, or determined ordinary ailments to the production of water on the brain. Note that this passage makes no mention of death  ‘Early Rising’, Hall’s Journal of Health, 1 Sept. 1869, 211; EARLY RISING. Health and long life are almost universally associated with early rising; and we are pointed to countless old people, as evidence of its good effects on the general system. Can any of our readers, on the spur of the  moment, give a good and conclusive reason why health should be attributed to this habit? We know that old people get up early; but it is simply because they can't sleep. Moderate old age does not require much sleep; hence, in the aged, early rising is a necessity, or a convenience, and is not a cause of health in itself. There is a large class of early risers, very early risers, who may be truly said not to have a day*3 health in a year—the thirsty folk, for example, who drink liquor until midnight, and rise early to get more! One of our earliest recollections is, that of "old soakers" making their "devious way" to the grog-shop or the tavern bar-room, before sunrise, for their morning grog. Early rising, to be beneficial, must have two concomitants: to retire early, and on rising, to be properly employed. One of the most eminent divines in this country rose by daylight for many years, and at the end of that time:became an invalid—has travelled the world over for health, and has never regained it, nor ever will. It is rather an early retiring that does the good, by keeping people out of those mischievous practices which darkness favors, and which need not here be more particularly referred to. Another important advantage of retiring early is, that the intense stillness of midnight and the early morning hours favor that unbroken repose which is the all-powerful renovator of the tired system. Without, then, the Accompaniment of retiring early, "early rising" is worse than useless, and is positively mischievous. Every person should be  allowed to "have his sleep out;" otherwise, the duties of the day cannot be properly performed, will be necessarily slighted, even by the most conscientious. To all young persons, to students, to the sedentary, and to invalids, the fullest sleep that the system will take, without artificial means, is the balm of life—without it there can be no restoration to health and activity again. Never wake up the sick or infirm, or young children of a morning—it is a barbarity; let them wake of themselves, let the care rather be to establish an hour for retiring, so early, that their fullest sleep may be out before sunrise. Another item of very great importance is: Do not hurry up the young and the weakly. It is no advantage to pull them out of bed as soon as their eyes are open, nor is it best for the studious, or even for the well, who have passed an unusually fatiguing day, to jump out of bed the moment they wake up: let them remain, without going to sleep again, until the sense of weariness passes from the limbs. Nature abhors two things: violence and a vacuum. The sun does not break out at once into the glare of the meridian. The diurnal flowers unfold themselves by slow degrees; nor fleetest beast, nor sprightliest bird, leaps at once from its resting-place. By all of which we mean to say, that as no physiological truth is more demonstrable, than that the brain, and with it the whole nervous system, is recuperated by sleep, it is of the first importance, as to the well-being of the human system, that it have its fullest measure of it; and to that end, the habit of retiring to bed early should be made imperative on all children, and no ordinary event should be allowed to interfere with it. Its moral healthfulness is not less important than its physical. Many a young man, many a young woman, has made the first step towards degradation, and crime, and disease, after ten o'clock at night; at which hour, the year round, the old, the middle-aged, and the young, should be in bed: and then the early rising will take care of itself, with the incalculable accompaniment of a fully-rested body and a renovated brain. We repeat it, there is neither wisdom, nor safety, nor health, in early rising in itself; but there is all of them in the persistent practice of retiring to bed at an early- hour, winter and summer. Note that this passage makes no mention of death Get Your Full Quantum of Sleep’, Australian Journal, 1 June 1870, 597–8; The Rev. Mr. Beecher, who is always practice as well as philosophical in his essays, has a capital paper in a late Ledger, on the momentous consequences of neglecting to secure the natural modicum of sleep. There are thousand of busy people (he says), who die every year for want of sleep. It may be that too much sleep injures some; most in an excitable people, and in our intense business habits, there is much more mischief for want of sleep than from too much. Sleeplessness becomes a disease. It is a precursor of insanity. When it does not reach to that sad result, it is still full of peril, as well as of suffering. Thousands of men have been indebted for bad bargains, for lack of courage, for ineffectiveness, to loss of sleep. It is curious that all the poetical representations of sleeping and waking are the reverse of the truth. We speak of sleep as the image of death, and of our waking hours as the image of life. But all activity is the result of some form of decomposition in the body. Every thought, still more every emotion, any volition waste some part of the nervous substance, precisely as a flame is produced by wasting the match. It is the death of some part of the physical substance that produces the phenomena of intelligent and voluntary life. On the other hand, sleep is not like death; for it is a period in which the waste of the system ceases, or is reduced to a minimum. Sleep repairs the wastes which waking hours have made. It rebuilds the system. The night is the repair-shop of the body. Every part of the system is silently overhauled, and all the organs, tissues, and substances are replenished. Waking consumes, sleep replaces; waking exhausts, sleep repair; waking is death, sleep is life. The man who sleeps little, repairs little; if he sleeps poorly, he repairs poorly. If he uses up in the day less than he accumulates at night, he will gain health and vigour. If he uses up all that he gains at night, he will just hold his own. If he uses more by day than he gathers at night he will lose. And if this last process be long continued, he must succumb. A man who would be a good worker must see to it that he is a good sleeper. Human life is like a mill; sometimes the stream is so copious that one need care but little about his supply. Now, often, the stream that turns the mill needs to be economised. A dam is built to hold a larger supply. The mill runs the pond pretty low through the day, but by shutting down the gate, the draught refills the pond, and the wheels go merrily around again the next day. Once in a while, when spring rains are copious and the freshets overflow, the mill may run night and day; but this is rare. Ordinarily the mill should run by day, and the pond fill up by night. A man has as much force in him as he has provided for by sleep. The quality of action, especially mental activity depends upon the quality of sleep. If day-time is the loom I which men weave their purposes, night is the time when the threads are laid in and the filling prepared Men need on an average eight hours of sleep a day, or one third of their whole time. A man of lymphatic temperament may require nine. A nervous temperament may require but seven, or six, and instances have been known in which four have been enough. The reason is plain. Lymphatic man is sluggish in all his functions. He moves slowly, thinks slowly, eats slowly, digest slowly, and sleeps slowly; that is, all the restorative acts of his system go on slowly, in analogy with his temperament. But a nervous man acts quickly in everything by night or by day. When awake he does more in an hour than a sluggish man does in two hours: and so in his sleep. He sleeps faster, and his system nimbly repairs in six hours what it would take another man eight hours to perform. Every man must sleep according to his temperament. But weight hours is the average. If one requires a little more or a little less, he will find it out for himself. Whoever by work, pleasure, sorrow, or by any other cause, is regularly diminishing his sleep, it is destroying his life. A man may hold out for a time. But Nature keeps close accounts, and no man can doge her settlements. We have seen impoverished railroads that could not keep the track in order, nor spare the engines to be thoroughly repaired. Every year track and equipment deteriorated. By and by comes a crash, and the road is in a heap of confusion and destruction. So it is with men. They cannot spare time to sleep enough. They slowly run behind. Symptoms of general waste appear. Premature wrinkles, weak eyes, depression of spirits, failure of digestion, feebleness in the morning, and overwhelming melancholy-these and other signs show a general dilapidation. If when sudden calamity causes an extraordinary pressure the go down under it. They have no resources to draw upon. They have been running up to the verge of their whole vitality every day. There is a great deal of intemperance besides that of tobacco, opium or brandy. Men are dissipated, to overtax their systems all day and under-sleep every night. Some men are dissipated by physical stimulants, and some by social, and some by professional and commercial. But a man who die of  delirium tremens is no more a drunkard and a suicide than the lawyer, the minister, or the merchant that works excessively all day, and sleep but little all night. Note that this passage makes no mention of death in respect to early rising ‘Early Rising’, Hall’s Journal of Health, 1 July 1874; ‘Early Rising’, Hall’s Journal of Health, 1 Aug. 1876, 337; ‘Early Rising as a Cause of Insanity’, British Medical Journal, 18 Jan. 1896, 167. EARLY RISING AS A CAUSE OF INSANITY. SOME time ago we showed cause why early rising, instead of being a virtue as unscientific moralists have taught us, should be considered a mischievous practice condemned by sound physiology as well as by the natural instinct of mankind. It now appears if we are to believe an American specialist in mental disease-that, in stating the case against early rising, we did not go far enough. Dr. Selden H. Talcott, of Middletown. New York, has recently called attention to the relative frequency with which farmers and their facilities become insane. The cause of this, we learn, has hitherto been thought to be the isolation of their lives, the hard work they have to do, and perhaps the excessive use of "pie' and potatoes. Insanity in this country has been attributed to almost everything from tea drinking to the reading of tracts, but the influence of the potato as an etiological factor is new to us. Perhaps our Irish brethren may be able to enlighten us on this  point. As to "pie "-well, we have seen pies the chemical products of which we could easily believe would "work like madness in the blood" of anyone rash enough to eat them. Dr. Talcott, however, believes that insanity among the bucolic class of the population Is mostly due to the inhuman hours at which they are in the habit of getting- up. Possibly some may be disposed to think that early rising is rather a prima facie evidence of insanity than a cause of it, but, without going so far as this, we take it that most alienists will agree that time foolish feeling of superior virtue which the habit of early rising is apt to engender is akin to the exalted mental state which often precedes what Auguste Conmte (speaking of himself) called a crise cerebrale. Medical psychologists have a true collector's enthusiasm for new species, and we hope that what we venture to call "matutinal mania" may find a place in the next classification of mental diseases that may be proposed. BACK
© Dr. Neil Stanley 2013-2018