SLEEPLESSNESS, ITS CAUSE AND CURE


These Pulsatilla cases have irresistible sleepiness (cat-naps) in the afternoons, and early evenings, but cannot of to sleep on retiring for the first half of the night. They wake frequently in a fright. Dreams are confused, vivid, frightful, or disgusting and anxious.


SEVERAL laity and some chemists have begged me to write on this subject from the homoeopathic standpoint. Chemists tell me that they are daily asked for “counter-prescriptions” because there are not any homoeopathic doctors within easy reach.

It must be made clear that “sleeplessness” starts long before medication is sought. Lest some say that I am seeking notoriety I will counter that by simply saying that my age and other factors preclude this. I am only interested in proving that homoeopathy is safe and sure, whilst orthodox treatment is anything but that. Standard orthodox works emphasize the dangers in their commonest drugs, nearly every one of which should be debarred for human usage.

“Sleeplessness” must be viewed from many angles before resorting to medicines. Per se, it is treated far too lightly by the allopathic school. Sir William Oslers Principles and Practice of Medicine (thirteenth edition- on my desk) does not even mention “Insomnia, Sleep or Sleeplessness”. Perhaps he knew too well the dangers of any drugs he would have to offer which are common to allopathic employment, so he preferred to ignore the subject entirely.

As opposed to this caution of Oslers Dr. Rehberger (of Johns Hopkins University) in his Quick Reference Book of Medicine and Surgery (ninth edition : Lippincott)-also on my desk-is bold enough to list twenty-three drugs daily given by allopaths to make people sleep, or to produce a “stupor”, which really masks all the symptoms proclaiming a danger, and which every patient should be left the power to state; of these twenty-three drugs given, at least twenty-one of them have their (poisonous) symptoms clearly set forth in the same standard work, and to show that these are highly dangerous I beg leave to quote briefly some of these dangers, if one iota too much ever be given a patient.

Amongst other symptoms the following may occur at any time, in any “sensitive” person, as stated by Rehberger. “Collapse, respiratory paralysis, somnolence, catalepsy, coma, cardiac failure, loss of reflexes, depression, delirium, obscene dreams, talk and reactions, and destructive tissue changes in the cortical substance of the brain, so you will not be surprised when some of the drugs can actually produce INSANITY !!”

Many of these twenty-three common allopathic drugs can produce several or many of the above lesions, so I earnestly advise the laity never to take any allopathic prescription for “sleeplessness”. I believe that Osler was honestly afraid of the drugs in general use by his orthodox school.

The best standard orthodox works have little or nothing to say of general measures to encourage sleep. Anybodys grandmother could have made a better show than these standard works, but Rehberger does naively give one bit of advice which would have scared a Victorian grandmother stiff, and which measure is beyond the powers, and finance, of 99 per cent. of all patients. It is this- “the sleepless patient should try TENT LIFE IN THE WOODS.” This is practically his sole hint to obtain “fresh air for the sleepless”, which brings me to a most important point which I have never seen dwelt on in allopathic works.

Now this subject of FRESH AIR to induce sleep is no slight or laughing matter. Many a time, in questioning patients about this “fresh air in the bedroom” I have found this sort of thing. The top half of a window i lowered three to six inches, with three inches being general, but-I have also found that inside these windows there was usually a drawn blind of woven material, and more often than not, curtains were close drawn over such blinds, thus doubly reducing the entrance of fresh air.

This sort of thing is rubbish if health is any object. I live in Maine, U.S.A., and we believe in fresh air so much that I have often swept up drifted feathery snow off the waxed floor in the early winter mornings. Wounded French soldiers who never caught colds in the trenches, very often started colds and coughs when placed in hospitals, however much we tried to ventilate such wards. Lack of fresh air was responsible.

I know in England, where I was born, that driving rain must be kept out, and this can be done by an yawning outside (never mind what the neighbours “think”; it is your health which is at stake). Somehow, manage to keep a window wide open. If your windows are so placed that some “peeping-tom” is likely to be trouble-some, a folding screen or some draped material hung on a wire in the room, to block a clear view, will spoil the sport of any such moron. Breezes will bring many to health without any medicine, and with health your normal sleep. Did you ever notice how baby sleeps out of doors, when it is eternally fretful in its stuffy overheated rooms ? Then take your lesson from baby.

It may also be that you have too many bed-coverings, or too heavy. This may hinder sleep. These should be adjusted very carefully. Sleep may be delayed by being slightly too cold, which even the poor can change by sewing paper between sheets, as I have seen advocated in a famine time, many years ago in North Britain.

A poor sleeper should aim to maintain normal bodily temperature, so you see that there are many things you must consider in order to obtain normal sleep before resorting to drugs, another of which should certainly be the taking of extremely deep breathing exercises to inflate the lungs to the limit of their capacity. I have seen this act well in many patients who always told me that they experienced a sensation of having taken some anaesthetic, when they went to sleep before they knew anything. Try this “deepest breathing” when striving to go to sleep.

Another very important thing is: “How often do you eat during the twenty-four hours ?” Many people “stroke-up” six or seven times daily. Three meals, one being very light, are enough for any stomach to take care of in twenty-four hours. Every persons capacity differs. The intake, including the “mixture” must be accurately gauged, and every excess stopped. If there is the slightest indigestion it is Natures warning to change the “mixture” or to take less food or less often.

The greatest of these is the horrible “mixture” you ask your stomach to turn into “food”. Transgression in any respect will result in lost sleep and nerve force, everything getting worse and worse. Your stomach is not able to digest well unless the very thought of food causes the saliva to gush into the mouth. The clock should not govern the hours of meals, if you are suffering from loss of sleep and indigestion.

Some may find it best to “FAST” one whole day or more every week, when nothing but water should pass the lips. Such may find it best to start their fast after the evening meal, the next food to be taken at the evening meal on the next day. To miss all three meals in one whole day, means that there is a fast of some thirty-eight hours at least, which is too long for most busy persons.

The “MIXTURE” taken at any meal is almost more important than eating too often, and the individual must cut out any article which it is found causes some distress. Some cannot digest white sugar. Why continue to take it ? Try Demerara or honey instead.

Some cannot digest pastries, etc., so why continue to drop them into your stomach ? Many are healthier without much or any meat, especially of the tinned or smoked variety. “Smoking”is often done with “liquid smoke” as the advertisements read, which means some form of kreosote. This is capital for dog-kennels and railway-sleepers, but taken by human beings will finally destroy all normal sleep by rotting the teeth and digestive organs. To judge of the “mixtures” you are daily subjecting your body to, make this test.

Some day drop into a big bowl equal portions of all foods which you take at one meal. At the end of the meal, stir that mass, inspect it, and see if it does not nauseate you ! and yet this is what you have asked your stomach to work on, to your own undoing, eventually to end in sleeplessness.

For loss of sleep due to mental strain homoeopathy can do much, but even here you must help your doctor by avoiding such mental “overstrains” as far as possible.

There is another angle and cause of sleeplessness which must be noted. This is due to uterine-reflex-irritation acting on the brain, and it is more common than is surmised. If this is suspected I beg the sufferer to go at once to a homoeopathic doctor who can cure this without doing your body any harm whatsoever. Do this before it is said to be “too late”.

I must present two other angles, but merely mentioning them. Dont injure your nervous system with “synthetic perfumes”. Pure flower perfumes have almost disappeared from the markets because chemists can make more money out of “coal-tar” perfumes, which cannot be classed as nerve soothers.

If such are used merely as a matter of overcoming a “B.O.” as the advertisements vulgarly put it, this is another reason for seeking out a homoeopathic doctor, who will cure your body which is producing such a “warning signal” As for the sleeplessness which is brought on by reading filthy and suggestive books, which is very common knowledge to very elderly doctor, then the remedy is in the hands of the patient,though it is for the adults to guard and guide their dependents. This trouble is seen in many phases and in all degrees. Many of the “new-generation” will sneer at this; if they dont heed this warning they must “pay the piper” in later life.

I will now differentiate a very few homoeopathic remedies which are absolutely harmless.

(1) Aurum metallicum (30, 100 or 200). This medicinal power was known to the Arabs of old. The sleeplessness cured by this remedy will be found in those persons who are profoundly despondent, with morbid religious phase dominating; these people have thoughts of suicide, which is seldom carried out by such, as they have an actual fear of death. They fear eternal damnation; they think they are lost souls; they have frightful dreams, often sobbing in their sleep. Weak health of girls at puberty, generally with bad breath. Pining boys at puberty (question onanism here). Insomnia following a great grief (compare Ignatia in such cases). There is often a sex-reflex underlying many of these cases.

(2) Chamomilla (12x to 30). In teething disorders destroying sleep with digestive disturbances as well, the 12x often acts better, but if all symptoms agree, dont hesitate to change the strength before changing to another medicine. I would drop down to a 3x strength if I felt certain I had the correct drug, but dont give I felt certain I had the correct drug, but dont give stronger than this 3x, which might aggravate some digestive symptoms. For Chamomilla to be indicated, children cry and scream and are only quiet when carried.

One cheek will be red and the other very pale. Sleeplessness with colic in highly nervous, excitable and irritable subjects whether young or old. Give children plenty of water. Milk does not quench thirst. Miss as meal giving water instead. Digestion is often at fault in these sleepless ones, and this is shown by constantly changing, sputtering and grass green stools. Note well! Dont give baby a “ONE-COWs milk. If such a cow is “bulling” it may cause a host of symptoms, including diarrhoeas and sleeplessness, and it may even bring on convulsions. Let an old doctor, who has raised many children of his own, urge this. I have never seen this point in print.

(3) Actea racemosa (6x, 12x, 30 to 100). This is usually called Cimicifuga rac. in U.S.A. Here is another remedy with very ancient history. It came to us homoeopaths from American Indian folk lore. One name they have for it is “SOUAW ROOT” which speaks for itself. We homoeopaths simply gave it precision by personal volunteer experiments, and we never asked information from dogs, monkeys, rats or frogs, nor even guinea-pigs.

The sleeplessness cured by this remedy is surely of uterine- reflex (squaw-root). Brain irritable; agitation, great depression, with sensations of impending evil; waving or opening and shutting sensations in the brain; all symptoms worse just before, during or after monthly period (read up “monthly” disorders). Hysterical symptoms; faints easily, or feels faint. Is a shivery subject with probable rheumatic base underlying all. It is easy to think that a woman with such a nervous load cannot sleep well, but there is not need to give such a case some “stupor” producing drug which cures nothing at all.

(4) Aconite (30 t0 200). This is a homoeopathic “sleep restorer” when the trouble is due to “mental shock” or worry. I used the 200 strength during the War with results which astonished me. It was a “pedigree medicine” given me by Dr. Barlee, given him by Dr. Gibson Miller, who received same from Dr. J.T. Kent. After my first successes I divided my bottle of Aconite into four, and kept them in separate places, fearing to lose my “pearl without price”.

Symptoms indicating Aconite following some “shock” are that the patient is full of strange and unaccountable “fear”, which the patient will laugh at between attacks. Fears a crowd or meeting people crossing a street, fears death; in short is full of undefinable and unreasonable fears which drive sleep away. There need not be any fever, but simply mental imbalance. This requires Aconite 30x or higher.

(5) Gelsemium (6x, 30 or 100). Here is another “tribal” remedy of very ancient usage, coming down to us from North American Indians, and which we homoeopaths have had the sense and ability to make use of. It is the evergreen yellow jasmine. This type of sleepless and yawning patient cannot get fully to sleep; he dozes off, to become wide-awake with a start. Insomnia from exhaustion and shock. thoughts crowd uncontrollably all night.

If there are observed slight shiverings and tremblings with “goose-flesh” this is all the better indicated. Face is not, heavy looking and flushed. Eyelids heavy; patient can hardly keep eyes open and yet sleep will not come. Desires to be quiet and left alone. This “sleeplessness” can be caused by exciting news, or some unusual call on the life-forces (such as stage fright, public accompanied with urgent diarrhoea this remedy is all the better indicated.

If the patient is an infant it will start out of slumber screaming, and grasping the attendant, as if afraid of falling. In young women the sleeplessness will often be attended with aphonia and eve sore throat at time of menses. Such is a very brief outline of this normal-sleep restorer, which cannot be classed as “dope”.

(6) Hyoscyamus (12x to 30 or higher). This is one of the most dangerous, and in commonest use of all the orthodox medicines given by them to induce “oblivion” or “stupor” (which cannot be regarded as “sleep”). They use the alkaloid of this drug, which is very concentrated, their average dose being, as copied form their standard works, one-eightieth of a grain, down to one thirtieth grain, which is given either by the mouth or hypodermically, several times a day.

To show you the danger in orthodox hands, if one iota too much is given to a “sensitive” patient, it can produce “sexual-mania”, and insane hospitals have many such wrecks. I have personally known such cases following orthodox prescriptions of this alkaloid. Rehberger lists many toxic symptoms against their alkaloid “Hyoscine”, but as he does not mention “sexual-mania”, but as he does not mention “sexual- mania”, apparently they are not aware of this danger brought on by one of their commonest hypnotics (sleep inducers).

In our 12x strength there is but one drop of the fresh plant juice of Hyoscyamus in 1,000,000,000,000 (twelve noughts) drops of dilute alcohol, so it is safe for the weakest patient. The orthodox “alkaloid” is another story.

Homoeopathically it cures sleeplessness of sexual irritation- reflex (womb and ovaries, etc.). This sleeplessness is intense, and generally accompanied with convulsive tendencies; every muscle twitches; patient starts up frightened; picks at bed clothes; plays with finger; reaches our for objects which are not there; very talkative, even with a vein of sexual undercurrent thought, on to much worse.

Foolish thoughts crowd unwanted; is very jealous; is inclined to laugh at every remark of her own, or attendants in extreme cases there is low muttering speech. Very suspicious and quarrelsome. (N.B. If too big a dose has been given in an orthodox prescription a few doses of five drops of Spirits of Camphor given on sugar, will stop over-acute symptoms of a first dose, but Camphor will not cure a chronic Hyoscine injury).

(7) Nux vomica (30 to 100). In choosing a homoeopathic remedy for “sleeplessness”, here as ever, one must by the patient. Drugging a patient into “stupor is not curing, in fact it is adding a drug disease. Broadly speaking Nux vomica is best suited to a cantankerous individual, who is an over-eater and a gross one. Such will have many digestive troubles with aggravations one or two hours after eating, because of the battle-royal going on inside, and little wonder; how can such a person sleep well> It also suits the sleepless ones of sedentary habits, as well as those who think they cant live without a few drinks of alcohol daily, which ends in arresting digestion by pickling the undigested contents of the stomach.

Such may never “show their liquor”. Nux vomica is oftener suited to men of dark, swarthy and heavy fibre. Dr. Gallivardin (father) of Lyon cured hundreds of persons of their desire for alcoholic stimulants with Nux vomica 30, and nothing else. He was celebrated for this, and he gave his detailed knowledge to the profession. Such patients are always troubled with poor sleep.

Nux vomica subjects are nearly always very constipated, with frequent and ineffectual desires for stool. Such will be very drowsy in the evening hours before bed time, with disturbed naps on going to bed, only to be wide awake from 2 to 3 a.m., until it is time to get up, when he could sleep long and late, waking as cross as a bear, and letting the world know it. Such cases demand all food to be very highly spiced, and are always full of gloom. If the diet be adjusted sanely, Nux vomica 30 or higher, will give normal sleep, with a happier family life, ever afterwards, let;s hope.

(8) Pulsatilla (6x, 12x to 30). Having presented some help for irritable males, this is more often of value for unhappy females. This class of sleepless patients is the exact opposite type. The invalid, as a whole picture, must be studied. The constitutional type of nervous digestive sleepless ones to be benefited by Pulsatilla are of a mild, tearful, timid, and yielding disposition, generally of shady hair (blondish), blue eyes, pale of face, with muscles soft and flabby. How different from the Nux vomica type. Both have their digestive troubles which destroy normal sleep, but the Pulsatilla suffers from too much fats, pastries, cakes, and sweet things aggravating symptoms and driving sleep away.

These Pulsatilla cases have irresistible sleepiness (cat-naps) in the afternoons, and early evenings, but cannot of to sleep on retiring for the first half of the night. They wake frequently in a fright. Dreams are confused, vivid, frightful, or disgusting and anxious. This type yawns day and night (compare Gelsemium). Many of this Pulsatilla type have some monthly troubles, so many of these symptoms are actually of sex-organ reflex, but for details search your homoeopathic Materia Medica if you wish to learn how to get and keep well.

Member of the allopathic profession, AND THE LAITY which is your choice?.

Scientists have discovered that when the temperature of the body is raised up to about 102 F., or 102.5 F., the multiplication of germs in the body is greatly retarded. The higher temperature is also now known greatly to encourage the production of antitoxins on the part of the body itself. And so we come to see that fever is a definite aid to the body in its struggle against disease.

Moderate increase in temperature greatly enhances the chances of a sick man getting well. It is for this very reason that the physician now regards a temperature around 103 F. as a good indication in pneumonia. If I had and elderly person with a severe pneumonia, and I came around on the third or fourth day and found the temperature only 100 F. to 101 F., I should have small for his recovery. Dr. WILLIAM S. SADLER, The Essentials of healthful Living.

Ethelbert Petrie Hoyle
BIO: Dr. Ethelbert Petrie Hoyle 1861 – 1955 was a British orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy. He served as editor of the International Homeopathic Medical Directory and Travelling Secretary to the International Homeopathic Society.