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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SLEEP ***
Transcriber’s Notes

Obvious typographical errors have been silently corrected. Variations
in hyphenation and accents and all other spelling and punctuation
remains unchanged.

The quotation from Ballad of Reading Gaol, (Chapter VIII) has been
corrected from

And Sleep will not lie down but walks
And wild-eyed cries to time.
to
And Sleep will not lie down but walks
Wild-eyed and cries to time.

Footnotes are located at the end of the relevant paragraphs.

Italics are represented thus _italic_.




[Illustration: BOLTON HALL

“THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SLEEP”]




THE PSYCHOLOGY OF
SLEEP

BY
BOLTON HALL, M.A.

Author of “Three Acres and Liberty,” “Things as They Are,”
“Free America,” etc.

With an Introduction
BY
EDWARD MOFFAT WEYER, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy, Washington and Jefferson College

[Illustration]


NEW YORK
MOFFAT, YARD AND COMPANY
1917




Copyright, 1911, by
MOFFAT, YARD AND COMPANY
NEW YORK

_All rights reserved_
Published October, 1911


THE QUINN & BODEN CO. PRESS
RAHWAY, N. J.




TO THE MEMORY OF

THE REVEREND DR. JOHN HALL

WHO PREACHED FROM THE WORD
WHAT I TEACH FROM THE WORLD




INTRODUCTION


At the request of the author, I have read this book in proof sheets,
and, from the point of view of one interested in psychology, I have
suggested many amendments which have all, I think, been adopted.

As will be seen by the intelligent reader, the best sleep involves more
than a normal body; it involves healthy thought and the application
to our daily lives of the moral principles laid down by our great
spiritual teachers.

The cure of sleeplessness has hitherto been left largely to the
physician, who is not always a specialist on that subject and who
will welcome a treatise that will enable his patient to co-operate
with his restorative measures. Mr. Hall has already shown in _Three
Acres and Liberty_ and in _The Garden Yard_ his ability to put into
clear, popular language and readable form scientific truths that
non-scientific people need to know and wish to learn.

The proper management of our own bodies is even more essential to our
happiness and well-being than the proper management of the land, and I
hope that this book will be no less welcome to students and physicians
than to the great mass who for lack of knowledge or of attention do not
wholly avail themselves of the freely offered gift of sleep.

The book may be useful to many who find it difficult to harmonize their
lives with their surroundings, and may bring to many a happier view of
the ways of God to man.

EDWARD MOFFAT WEYER,
Washington and Jefferson College.




CONTENTS


CHAPTER PAGE

I SLEEP 1

II HOW MUCH SLEEP 5

III THE TIME OF SLEEP 11

IV WHAT SLEEP MAY MEAN 15

V HOW TO GO TO SLEEP 20

VI SLEEP IS NATURAL 26

VII THE DUPLEX MIND 30

VIII WAKEFULNESS 36

IX SIMPLE CAUSES OF WAKEFULNESS 40

X “LIGHT” SLEEPERS 47

XI THE GIFTS OF WAKEFULNESS 51

XII THE PURPOSE OF SLEEP 58

XIII THE SLEEP OF THE INVALID 62

XIV THE SLEEPLESSNESS OF PAIN 66

XV OPIATES 73

XVI DEVICES FOR GOING TO SLEEP 78

XVII MORE DEVICES FOR GOING TO
SLEEP 84

XVIII STILL FURTHER DEVICES 88

XIX HYPNOTIC SLEEP 94

XX “PERCHANCE TO DREAM” 101

XXI NATURAL LIVING 108

XXII FRESH AIR AND REFRESHING
SLEEP 113

XXIII THE BREATH OF LIFE 117

XXIV EATING AND SLEEPING 124

XXV SLEEPING AND EATING 128

XXVI SOME MODERN THEORIES OF
SLEEP 133

XXVII EARLY THEORIES OF SLEEP 138

XXVIII MORE THEORIES 142

XXIX STILL MORE THEORIES 147

XXX WE LEARN TO DO BY DOING 153

XXXI VAIN REGRETS 156

XXXII THE LOVE THAT IS PEACE 162

XXXIII THE SPECTER OF DEATH 167

XXXIV A NATURAL CHANGE 175

XXXV THE DISTRUST OF LIFE 180

XXXVI REST AND SLEEP 186

XXXVII THE NEED OF REST 192

XXXVIII SAVING OF EFFORT 196

XXXIX ANTAGONISM 201

XL STRUGGLE IN THE FAMILY 205

XLI UNNATURAL LAWS 210

XLII THE NATURAL LAW 215

XLIII “LETTING GO” 219

XLIV REST IN TRUTH 225

XLV THE SPAN OF LIFE 229

XLVI WASTE STEAM 233

XLVII UNDERSTANDING 238

XLVIII THE SUPERSTITION OF FEAR 246

XLIX IMAGINARY FEARS 251

L ILL SUCCESS 257

LI SOCIAL UNREST 263

LII ECONOMIC REST 269

LIII “IF HE SLEEP HE SHALL DO
WELL” 275

LIV CONCLUSION 280

APPENDICES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY 284

APPENDIX A 285

APPENDIX B 287

APPENDIX C 288

APPENDIX D 293

APPENDIX E 297




FOREWORD


This book is intended no less for those who do sleep well than for
those who do not. It is just as important to be able to teach others
to act well as to be able to do so ourselves. To teach we must analyze
and comprehend our own action and its motives: for being able to do a
thing well is far different from being able to teach it. In order to
teach anything we must know how we do it and why others cannot do it.
We never know anything thoroughly until we have tried to teach it to
another.

Many persons sleep well only because they are still, like little
children and animals, in the unreflective stage of life. That is the
stage of the Natural Man, and it is good in itself; but later the
mental life awakes, when consciousness of one’s self begins, and
examination of one’s own desires develops. If not rightly understood or
if not at least accepted, that development brings anxiety, unrest and
disturbance of sleep, and breaks the harmony of the whole nature.

The highest stage of development is the spiritual, the all-conscious
state which includes and harmonizes the other two. In that we do not
lose the ready, overflowing enjoyment of our bodily exercises and
functions; rather they are intensified; the physical and the mental are
united in the complete life.

In order to attain this harmony we must examine the means that we and
others use to gain rest and peace; some of these are instinctive and
some prudential, and we must perceive why it is that these means work
or fail to work in different cases. When, with all our getting, we have
gotten this understanding, then, and not till then, all action becomes
natural and joyful, for then we understand it all, and follow willingly
the leading of the Spirit that is in Man.

Care-charmer Sleep, son of the sable Night,
Brother to Death, in silent darkness born.

SAMUEL DANIEL.




CHAPTER I

SLEEP

Sancho Panza says: “Now, blessings light on him who first invented
sleep! Sleep which covers a man all over, thoughts and all, like a
cloak; and is meat for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, heat for the
cold, and cold for the hot. Sleep is the current coin that purchases
all the pleasures of the world cheap, and the balance that sets the
king and shepherd, the fool and the wise man, even.”—“Don Quixote.”


Sleeping is the one thing that everyone practices almost daily all his
life, and that, nevertheless, hardly anyone does as well as when he
began. We have improved in our walking, talking, eating, seeing, and
in other acts of skill and habit; but, in spite of our experience, few
of us have improved in sleeping: the best sleepers only “sleep like a
child.” It must be that we do not do it wisely, else we should by this
time do it well.

Even the race of mankind as a whole does not seem to be able to use
sleep, to summon it, or to control it any better than primitive
man did. We talk much of the need of sleep, and sagely discuss its
benefits, but we know neither how to use the faculty of sleep to the
best advantage nor how to cultivate it.

Yet for ages men have studied the mystery of sleep. We have acquired
many interesting facts concerning its variation, and have formulated a
number of theories concerning its cause and advantages; nevertheless,
science has given us little real knowledge of sleep, and less mastery
over it.

Mankind has had idols ever since consciousness began. Advancing
knowledge has changed the nature and number of the idols, but it has
not destroyed them. The idol of the present age is “Science,” and
men worship it in the degree that it seems to fit their needs. They
forget that Science is merely the knowledge of things and persons,
arranged and classified, so as to make it available. In its nature
it is fallible, for some new phase discovered to-day may show that
yesterday’s conclusion was formed from a theory which itself was based
on a mistaken premise. Man has caught a glimpse of something that
resembled truth, has stated it, reasoned about it, and finally either
established its authority or disproved it utterly through the discovery
of the real thing he was seeking. Either result was progress, because
man grows, as Browning says, “through catching at mistake as midway
help, till he reach fact indeed.” So there is no need to be disturbed
by the conflicting opinions of men of science touching the purpose or
method of sleep. Even the rejected theories have added to the sum of
our knowledge, and the field for investigation is still open to all
who are faithful in noting and comparing the manifestations of Nature,
which the scientists call phenomena.

Most of what we call science has to do with physical or material
things. Consequently, we find scientists dealing mainly with what may
be called tangible phenomena, those which may be measured or weighed
or held in the hand or, at least, pinned down by pressure of thumb or
finger.

Material Science’s estimate of man is largely gauged by

“Things done, that took the eye and had the price;
O’er which, from level stand,
The low world laid its hand,
Found straightway to its mind, could value in a trice.”

This is the almost inevitable result of looking upon life as purely
material or physical. We must view life as physical, but not physical
only; as mental, but not mental only; as spiritual, but not spiritual
only.

In studying sleep and its attendant phenomena all these things must be
taken into consideration. So slight a thing as fancy may profoundly
influence our acts; fancies not attributable to any material source, so
fleeting and evanescent that the clumsy net of language cannot hold
them, may induce sleep or destroy sleep.

A review of the theories and conclusions of physicians, both scientific
and unscientific, as well as of others who have found the study of
sleep of absorbing importance, will find a place in our examination of
this vital function of organisms.




CHAPTER II

HOW MUCH SLEEP

Six hours in sleep, in law’s grave study six,
Four spend in prayer, the rest on Nature fix.
(Translation.) SIR EDWARD COKE.


Man is the highest expression yet discovered of the “living organism,”
and sleep has always taken more of his time than any other function.
Marie de Manacéïne of St. Petersburg, in her great book called
“Sleep,” says: “The weaker the consciousness is, the more easily it
is fatigued and in need of sleep; an energetic consciousness, on the
contrary, is contented with periods of sleep that are shorter, less
deep, and less frequent.” Although the consciousness of the race has
developed and strengthened enormously, and is steadily strengthening
itself, the old-fashioned idea that one-third of our time should
be spent in sleep holds the average mind as strongly as ever. We
insist upon it for the young, impress it upon everybody, and look
distrustfully upon him who is so daring and unreasonable as to say that
he requires less than eight hours of sleep. When an idea is intrenched
in the mind it is next to impossible to drive it out by reason or even
by repetition.

It is the popular belief that Alfred the Great—who is also Alfred the
Wise and Alfred the Good (being dead so long)—divided time into three
equal parts, and taught that one part should be given to sleep. If he
had said this, it would not follow that it is the last and wisest word
on the best way to divide our time, but he did not say it. What he
said was that one-third of each day should be given to sleep, diet and
exercise: that is, that a man should devote eight hours to sleeping,
eating and whatever form of exercise or recreation he desired.

There is nothing to show that Alfred spent even six hours in sleep,
although there is plenty of proof that he recognized the difference
between rest and sleep, for he gave the second division of the
day—eight hours—to study and to reflection, while the remaining eight
hours were to be for business. In those days kings worked hard. Sir
Henry Sumner Maine says that the list of places where King John held
court shows that even he was as active as any commercial traveler
nowadays. (“Early Law and Custom,” p. 183.)

But the superstition that Alfred recommended eight hours for sleep will
not down, and no amount of argument or proof will change the opinion
of the average man on this point. “Our forefathers slept eight hours,”
they say; “so should we.” We forget that probably the rushlight and
the candle had much to do with the long hours of sleep in olden times.
As artificial light has improved, sleeping-time has been shortened.

There is an old English quatrain which runs:

“Nature requires five,
Custom gives seven,
Laziness takes nine
And wickedness eleven.”

But sleep is a natural need, and, like any other natural need, varies
in degree in different persons. Dogs, cats and other animals generally
sleep more than we do, and their young ones sleep still more. Generally
speaking, the infant, whose mental powers have barely awakened, who is,
so far as we can tell, merely a human animal, needs more sleep than it
will ever need again in its existence. In this great need of sleep the
human animal resembles other animals.

It frequently happens that, as a man waxes older, he requires less and
less sleep than in his growing and most active years. But old people
who have outlived their mental life come to a time when they sleep and
perform merely the physical functions like the infant; so also with
those whose energy so far exceeds their physical strength that the mere
effort of living exhausts them. This condition may be in part due to
overstrain of the powers of youth and middle age, but it also follows
the fixed idea that years diminish strength and lessen energy. It is
easy to fall into this notion, for it accords so well with the general
idea that rest must come only after the period of activity, whether
that period be a day or a lifetime.

All of us have had periods when we have needed fewer than our average
hours of sleep. People who sleep out of doors or in thoroughly
ventilated rooms, under warm but light clothing, find that they need
less sleep than when they occupy poorly ventilated rooms and wrap
themselves in heavy, unhygienic clothing. Fresh discoveries are being
made almost daily by those who give intelligent consideration to these
things.

Even babies differ in their need of sleep. I know one healthy,
happy, beautiful baby who has never slept the average sixteen hours
that babies are supposed to need. This child is now between three
and four years of age, and has never gone to sleep before nine or
half-past nine at night. Her parents had the common idea of long
hours of sleep for infants, and the child had a hard struggle for a
while to convince them that she had no such need: such struggles are
often called “naughtiness.” She was regularly put to bed at seven
o’clock, and all the usual devices for enticing a baby to sleep were
practiced. Sometimes she was left severely alone, sometimes she had
gentle lullabies sung to her, but, whether alone or in company, this
particular baby played and enjoyed herself until between nine and
nine-thirty, when she quietly dropped to sleep. She awoke as early as
the average baby wakes, happy and refreshed, and her parents finally
learned that there is no sleeping rule that has no exceptions, whether
applied to infants or adults.

Drowsiness is a sign that we ought to sleep, just as hunger is a sign
that we ought to eat. Natural wakefulness means that we ought not to
sleep. The child tries to obey the promptings of nature, but we think
these promptings are wrong, if not wicked, and force him into all sorts
of bad habits. Says Michelet, “No consecrated absurdity could have
stood its ground if the man had not silenced the objections of the
child.” We are slowly learning that there is no need or function of the
body or of the mind that is exactly the same in all individuals, or
that is always the same even in the same individual.

But, in spite of this dawning knowledge, we still view with alarm any
disregard of the rule, either in ourselves or another; so true it is,
as Thomas Paine says, that “It is a faculty of the human mind to
become what it contemplates.” We have looked upon ourselves as having
certain, unvarying, imperative needs until we have almost become
subject to them.




CHAPTER III

THE TIME OF SLEEP

“Women, like children, require more sleep normally than men, but
‘Macfarlane states that they can better bear the loss of sleep, and
most physicians will agree with him.’” H. CAMPBELL.


The amount of sleep, like the amount of food, required by an individual
varies greatly, depending largely upon the conditions at the time.
Edison, for instance, can go days without sleep when engrossed in some
invention, and he has been quoted as saying that people sleep too much,
four hours daily being quite sufficient.

In answer to my inquiry, Mr. Edison’s secretary wrote, “Mr. Edison
directs me to write you that the statement is correct, that for
thirty years he did not get four hours of sleep per day.” Evidently,
experience taught him that an average of four hours per day, if taken
rightly and at the right time, is enough for him. He keeps a couch in
his workroom so as to sleep when he is sleepy. He does not need a clock
to tell him when to go to bed, any more than you need a thermometer to
tell you when to pull up the blankets.

Edison is not alone in his views on sleep. He made extensive
experiments with the two hundred workers in his own factory which
convinced him and most of them that the majority slept much too long.
The hands seem to have entered willingly into the trials: perhaps
their personal regard for him influenced their conclusions. Napoleon
Bonaparte and Frederick of Prussia were both satisfied with four hours
of sleep,[1] while Bishop Taylor was of opinion that three hours was
sufficient for any man’s needs, and Richard Baxter, who wrote “The
Saints’ Rest,” thought four hours the proper measure.

[1] It is said, however, that in later life Napoleon carried this too
far, and was sometimes stupid for lack of sleep.

Paul Leicester Ford, who was never a strong person, once told me that
he found four hours’ sleep enough for all purposes. He did not wish
to be understood as saying that four hours’ rest was enough, but four
hours’ sleep. He was one of the few who understood the difference
between sleep and rest. He frequently rested; his favorite practice
being to lie back in a big armchair with a book, and forget the
surrounding conditions. The book created a different set of sensations,
which, combined with the pause in physical activity, brought a sense
of rest to the frail body. He frequently got his four hours of sleep
curled up in the big chair, and was then able to go on with the work
which in a few short years made him famous. The wife of the late
George T. Angell of Boston testifies that for years he seldom slept
four hours a night, having found that, for him, more was unnecessary;
but, of course, it does not follow that no more is necessary for anyone.

These are not unusual instances, but rather typical cases. History
and biography are full of such; each of us can probably mention one
or more persons among his own acquaintance who can do well with less
than the usual eight hours of sleep, but we have looked upon them as
exceptions and perhaps have prophesied that they will feel the evil
results later, if not now. We usually select ourselves as the standard
for all other persons, or perhaps it is more correct to say that we are
prone to select one stage of our own development as a standard, and try
to compel even our growing self to conform to that stage. When the crab
outgrows his shell it sloughs off, and, so far as we know, he offers
no objection, but takes the new shell, which answers his needs better.
But we, who consider ourselves infinitely superior to the crab, try
to compel ourselves to keep within the bounds of old thoughts, early
habits, and outgrown customs after we no longer need them. When we are
unfortunate enough to succeed, we rejoice at our cramped souls as the
Chinese woman prides herself upon her crushed, cramped, misshapen foot.

The amount of sleep that suited you last year may not suit you to-day.
You may really be getting better sleep and so needing less of it: or


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