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Health and BodyBuilding.

(By Physical Cu!turlst) jV To suffer from sleeplessness is to lose one great means by which we iegenerate our bodily energy. Those hours of unconsciousness which, for a time at least, bring' us freedom from the cares of life, arc appreciated at their true worth wdien w’e have the misfortune to know what it is to toss about hour after hour, unable t Q find rest. Let \is then briefly review the commonest cause of insomnia, and see ■what simple means may be taken to combat this failing. Insomnia is a comparative term —for what may be called sleeplessness in one person is not so in another. Furthermore the kind of sleeplessness varies. Some go to sleep directly on getting to bed, but awake every hour for a time, sleeping .well later ; others awake early in the morning, and cannot sleep again ; while there are those who find great difficulty in getting off, but once asleep, do not awake until morning. For the sake of convenience we will classify the causes under four headings. 1. Irritive Causes. —This class includes all forms of insomnia, caused by pain and various uneasy feelings. 2. Tonic Causes. —The sleeplessness induced by taking strong tea and coffee late at night comes under this heading. Excessive use of alcohol end tobacco are other causes. 3. Psychical Causes. —Grief, shock, worry', and mental anxiety are among the most frequent causes of insomnia. 4. Causes arising from Change in Mode of Life. —Eating late 'dinners by those unaccustomed to them, and change of climate, sometimes give rise to temporary insomnia. “In speaking of what means wm may take to remedy difficulty in sleeping, I shall not include the mention of drugs ; such treatments shall be avoided if possible, for in the majority of cases it is not scientific, and only leads to harmful results. In some diseases the administration of narcotics becomes necessary, but in functional insomnia the sleeplessness should be combated by natural means.”—Dr. Stanford Read. In the cure of insomnia, the first thing to look for is the cause, so that, if possible, this may be removed. If it be an indigestion, this should be treated on the ordinary natural lines, so often advocated in this column —careful attention to the diet, the avoidaoce of tea and too much fruit at night. 'An overloaded state of the large bowel is a common cause of sleeplessness in elderly people ; for this an evacuation of the bowels at bed-time is the best means of relief.

Certain general precautions must be taken. The bedroom ought to be in a quiet part of the house, well ventilated, and of moderate temperature. The bed covering should be light and yet warm. Massage of the abdomen, thighs, and legs is sometimes advantageous,

while properly selected and regulated physical exercises stand forth as one of the simplest and best ways of bringing about certain and refreshing sleep. Causes of insomnia- which seem rebellious to simple forms of treatment may bo treated by “hypnotic suggestion” with very great success. This agent in the hands of a properly qualified and experienced practitioner is absolutely free from the dangers which by those who know nothing about the subject are supposed to exist, and experience teaches that this form of treatment is by far preferable to the habit of continually taking narcotic drugs, which only mark the symptoms of insomnia, without going to the fountain head of the trouble and removing the cause. To those who are sufferers from this very distressing ailment I would like here to say that it is not necessary to go out of Invercargill for reliable men who have been very successful in treating insomnia by “suggestion.”

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Bibliographic details

Health and Body-Building., Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 19, 24 August 1907

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Health and Body-Building. Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 19, 24 August 1907

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