The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 4 (July 1, 1938.)
Health Notes. — Complete Rest
Many people complain of suffering from insomnia and appear to be grateful for only four or five hours’ sleep every night. Habits are easily formed and one may soon get into the habit of sleeping for only the four or five hours, as the case may be. By accepting their lack of sleep philosophically they are acquiring the habit of sleeplessness and do not realise that they are depriving themselves of the additional hours necessary for perfect health. They do not look for the root of the trouble but patiently do without the sleep necessary to recharge completely the human battery.
Do not do brain work right up to the moment of going to bed as the brain takes some time to settle down. We are all well advised not to partake of a meal when feeling hot and tired after strenuous exercise, as the digestive organs protest against such treatment. Our brain protests, too, about being treated ruthlessly, and has its revenge by making it difficult to get to sleep.
Sleeplessness is sometimes caused by a heavy meal just prior to bedtime. An early and light meal may sometimes banish the trouble. A few simple stretching exercises before retiring will help one to get into the condition of readiness for sleep.
There are many simple remedies, such as a glass of hot milk or water, a very light supper, that are worthwhile.
If insomnia continues despite our efforts, a doctor should be consulted before we are “a bundle of nerves.”
The bed should be a comfortable one and the best that one can afford. If expenditure has to be studied, do not economise on the mattress. Have only enough bedclothes for warmth-heavy bedclothes cause fatigue because of their weight. Warmth, of course, is essential and if we feel we need nice loose bed-socks and a hot-water bottle, well, let us have them, for, after all, we spend about a third of our lives in bed.
If you can spare the time take your 40 winks of an afternoon, warmly wrapped in a rug by the open window. If you have no stated time for these 40 winks, when the opportunity occurs succumb to the desire to sleep. This extra sleep is most beneficial and greatly assists in the building up of strength to withstand the seasonal changes.