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Many persons, and perhaps brain-workers more than others, are apt to deprive themselves of a sufficient amount of sleep. This is a mistake. Nothing is ever gained by stealing from the hours that should be devoted to slumber. Work is much less of a burden when undertaken after a sound and refreshing night's rest than it is when we have stinted ourselves of sleep. During sleep the body becomes invigorated and the mind refreshed, and in order that we may benefit to the full from the time so spent, we should be careful to go to bed with the intention of falling asleep. It is well, when it can be managed, to have the mind off the stretch some little time before retiring to rest. The heavier part both of work and eating should be over in the early part of the day. *

Women require more sleep than men, and fat people more than thin. †

—Dr. W. W. HALL.

Do not sleep more than is necessary, and rise as soon as awake.

One hour of sleep before midnight is worth more than two hours after that time.


Full and sufficient sleep should be taken whenever it can be had, and neither alarum-clocks nor persons to call one should be had recourse to unless in cases of


From Ward and Lock's Long Life Series, edited by George

† From How to Live Long.

emergency. Each man and woman must determine the amount of sleep necessary for himself and herself, but it is better, on the whole, to take too much than too little sleep. They act unwisely who suppose that by taking as little sleep as possible they are able to do more work in the world. They may indeed spend more hours with their eyes open, but the well-slept man may take in twice as much while his eyes are open, and perhaps accomplish in the end a great deal more.*

in reference

No absolute rule can be laid down to the amount of sleep that is necessary or healthful. It will, of course, vary with age, strength, the amount of fatigue that has been sustained during the day, habit which is in this matter pre-eminently a second nature, and other circumstances.

The average quantity of sleep, as applicable to the wants of the majority of grown up persons, may be stated as six or seven hours. Less than this does not suffice to thoroughly recruit the wasted powers of very actively employed people; and more can only be required in exceptional cases.

Children should be allowed a larger quantity of sleep than adults, in proportion to their growth. Up to six or seven years of age they require ten or twelve hours daily; from this age to fourteen or sixteen, eight or nine hours may be allowed, and so gradually diminishing to six or seven hours.

Among women those who have the cares of a family, and perhaps the duties of child-bearing and nursing, in addition to the daily routine of the household to undergo, require more sleep than men. They may take an hour extra with advantage.


From Ward and Lock's Long Life Series, edited by George


In old age, when nervous irritability is subdued, and the exertion undergone is but slight, and the activity of the different functions is diminished, a comparatively small amount of sleep is sufficient.*

After all, the proper way of obtaining the blessings of sound sleep is to attend to the teachings of nature as regards the management of health generally, instead of depending upon artificial means of whatever kind.

1. Foremost amongst these must be placed early rising.

2. Regularity in the hours of meals, and of retiring to rest, and also in the quantity of food taken in the twenty-four hours, is the second highest means of procuring sound sleep.

3. Thirdly plenty of exercise in the pure open air is a powerful means to effect the same end.

4. Lastly the satisfaction of mind which arises from the consciousness of having honestly and honorably performed every appointed duty of the past day-never putting off till to-morrow what can be done to-day-must be reckoned not least in the list, for it is the most blessed of all, insuring, as it does, the approbation of our own conscience, and the tender fatherly and motherly care of the All-Beneficent One, "for so He giveth His beloved sleep.

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One of the greatest provocatives of sleep is the fatigue of body caused by healthy labour. As Sydney Smith says, "A good stout body being provided, some

From The Elements of Hygiene by Dr. Dhanakoti Râju.

Now this labour need possible for a person sleep from that cause.

labour must be found for it." not be excessive, since it is quite to be "over-tired," and unable to But some kind of exercise must be taken every day; and outdoor exercise, where possible, is the best of all. Persons engaged in occupations which involve physical labour do not need other exercise, since their calling provides them with it naturally, but those persons who have no natural exercise must take some by rule. Outdoor walking is one of the best exercises, since the walker breathes fresh pure air, and more of it than when remaining still. His heart quickens its beat. The various functions of the body are stimulated, and the small fatigue lays up in store a good sound night's sleep.*

Sleep after toil, port after stormy seas,

Ease after war, death after life, does greatly please.

Early to bed, and early to rise,

Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.


One important condition of healthful repose is the avoidance of eating a full meal shortly before retiring for the night.*

Never read your letters just before going to bed as they may damage your sleep.

• From Ward and Lock's Long Life Series, edited by George Black,

As a general rule, all mental exertion should be avoided in the evening hours. The perusal of a book late in the evening, requiring active thought to keep up with it, will induce wakefulness in excitable brains for many hours after going to rest. In such cases, only light literature ought to be indulged in. Exciting conversation, or exciting music, have also the effect of keeping the brain active for many hours, and therefore, it is better to avoid these late at night, if you would sleep soundly.

Care keeps his watch in every old man's eye;

And where care lodges sleep will never lie.


All the cares of the day ought to be laid aside with our clothes. None of them must be carried to bed with us, and in this respect, custom may obtain very great power over the thoughts. It is a destructive practice to study in bed, and read till one falls asleep.

There must be no thinking in bed. A person does not go to bed to think: he goes to bed to sleep. Thinking is carrying on the brain-action: sleeping is leaving it off. Thinking and sleeping are inconsistent, and will never be concurrent. Let all the thinking be done out of bed, and once in bed, let sleep reign supreme and banish everything else. *

The underclothing worn in the day time should be removed on going to bed, and be turned inside out to air, and become well dried and ventilated by morning. It is very imprudent to sleep in the same underclothing

*From Ward and Lock's Long Life Series, edited by George Black.

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