Woe betide us, if we lose it!
Indispensable it is, indeed, for it helps us to remain in health and regain it when we have lost it. Many thinking men, famous scientists among them, have occupied themselves with the problem of sleep, yet it has yielded few of its wondrous secrets, just as many other things in nature have so far refused to yield to the probing hands and minds of men.
If some urgent work keeps us at the desk till far into the night for several days running, exhaustion which prevents us from keeping up the pace will soon overtake us. Yet, a good sleep, even if it is a short one, will again invigorate our mental faculties. What is sleep? Its wonders are a constant incitement for us, to try and learn more about them.
Sleep is like a good friend or mother, in whose arms our daily difficulties are forgotten and smoothed away. It is like a healing presence that envelopes us, giving new strength to our hearts and minds. Some cells relax, others are recharged like the elements of a battery which is connected to the circuit overnight so that it can again give light and power. Other cells again utilize the temporary cessation of conscious activity to dean and clear up the clutter of the day gone by so that everything can spring into action as soon as our eyes open once more. Without this daily regeneration of our bodies and minds, life could not go on, and no one may sin against this irrefutable law of nature without paying the appropriate penalty.
Many an ill would never have overtaken us if we had always assured ourselves of sufficient sleep. Everything we do in an overtired or exhausted condition, is done badly, and depletes the body still further. Compared with what the same amount of energy would have accomplished if the body had been rested and ready for work, we accomplish little. Tiredness drags depression in its wake, makes us feel unable to cope with life’s burden, and this mental state irresistibly reproduces an equivalent physical state in our organism: the endocrine glands and the nervous system pick up the negative
impulses originating in the mind and pass them on to the organs till we finally find the whole system “tuned in” to the negative vibrations of the mind. The healthy tiredness that comes from work we have enjoyed in the open air and which exhilarates us mentally cannot be compared with the exhaustion that stems from long hours at the desk and lack of sleep. This kind of tiredness nags away at our very soul, will not let the mind function properly and invariably leads to a depression that descends upon us like a black cloud. This kind of tiredness is dangerous. It is the germ of many a fatal illness, the cause of innumerable nervous breakdowns, broken marriages, crimes and lives painfully cut short. It is also the cause of sleeplessness, the curse of modern man.
The Fight Against Insonmia
To enforce sleep by means of pills and potions is, of course, quite wrong, and only leads to further harm. To persuade priceless possession to return to us, we must change our way of life: the last meal of the day should be taken as early as possible and should consist of easily digested foods. Also, we must forget the busy world and rid ourselves of the excitements of the day gone by, and to this end, a walk down a peaceful country lane, inhaling the pure air and giving attention to the flowers by the wayside, the hum of bees, the chirp of birds in short, all the little “big” things we were so far removed from during the day — will settle our thoughts and direct them away from the sleep-preventing fears, worries and business considerations we brought home with us.
Of course, the beauty and stillness of a country lane is not always at our disposal and we might have to make do vvith a quiet side street in town, or the park, or a good book at the fireside.
Whatever the solution, it will be more satisfactory even if less convenient than having recourse to artificial sleep-promotion by chemical means. It will only throw us into a deep, dreamless stupor, into morbid unconsciousness, rather than peaceful slumber, and the awakening will be rude: where is the vigor, the feeling of new life you expect from a “deep and dreamless” sleep? And the longer you take these drugs, the harder you will find it to induce natural sleep. Drugless sleeping aids are a different proposition altogether; they strengthen and calm the nerves and bring back the sleep naturally. Passiflora, Aven sativa or the wellknown “Sleep-well Drops” taken in orange blossom tea sweetened with honey, will be found to do just that.
The “Organ Clock”
It is a more or less established fact that the irregular awakening from sleep at a certain hour is due to the dysffinction of a certain organ. The Chinese have always been masters in diagnosing such dysfunctions and the bulk of the knowledge we have on this subject has come from them although many doctors and nurses, etc., with good powers of observation, have long known that chronic awakening between I and 3 a.m. had to be interpreted as arising from the dysfunction of the liver.
The Chinese, however, knew that to be a fact more than 1000 years ago and, according to them, it is during this period that the liver is at the peak of its activity. Every hospital nurse will confirm, that gallstone colics occur predominantly between 11 P.M. and 1 A.M., which fits in with the “organ clock” of the Chinese, which shows that the production of gall reaches its maximum just during this period. We are also told and have been able to verify this ourselves that the specific organ remedy displays its geatest effect, when it is given during the organ time.
Other organs have also their set periods, during which they reach the height of their function. When the sleep is thus interrupted by any one organ, we shall remember that this is the opportunity for a therapeutic counterattack and take the remedy applicable to the organ voicing its grumbles! When we have satisfied these, it will no doubt, let us once again enjoy an undisturbed night, the value of which will by now be clear to everybody.