SYMPTOMSInability to get to sleep, night after night.
CAUSESIf it only happens once in a while, it is sleeplessness; if it happens for weeks or months, it is insomnia. (Sleep apnea will be discussed later in this article.) It is said that 100 million Americans have insomnia, to one degree or another, and take 600 tons of sleeping pills each year to avoid it. About seven times as many women as men experience the problem. Sleeping pills are second only to aspirin sales in the U.S.
Side effects from sleeping pills includes anxiety, depression, skin rashes, irritability, loss of appetite, poor coordination, digestive disturbances, difficulty with vision, confusion, dizziness, high blood pressure, circulatory and respiration disorders, breakdown of parts of the blood (such as the white blood cells which fight infection), damage to the central nervous system, memory problems, and liver and kidney damage.
The experts tell us that, if you go to bed on time, have a current of fresh air in the room, and lay there quietlyyou will get enough rest even though you do not seem to fall asleep as quickly as you might wish. Many people who report not getting to sleep at night actually slept quite a bit without realizing it.
Many people have a hard time getting to sleep at night because of restless leg syndrome (which see). These people are awakened by legs which twitch or kick.
There are others who experience sleep apnea. This occurs when the person, while asleep, stops breathing for as long as two minutes at a time. He then gasps for breath and may awaken. This can happen as many as 200 times at night. Those with sleep apnea tend to have higher than normal blood pressure, are more likely to have strokes, and are at greater risk of heart disease. These people also have a higher incidence of emotional and psychotic problems.
Overeating, eating too close to bedtime, and eating bad food can produce sleeplessness or insomnia. Systemic disorders in the heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, digestive organs, endocrines, and brain can all affect sleep.
A lack of calcium and magnesium can cause you to wake up after a few hours and be unable to return to sleep.
Eat nutritious food, and let breakfast and lunch be your main meals. Only eat lightly in the evening, and several hours before bedtime.
Foods with the amino acid, tryptophane, promotes sleep. These include figs, dates, and whole grain crackers.
Avoid cheese, bacon, chocolate, ham, sausage, and wine before bedtime. Better yet, keep those junk foods entirely out of your diet. Do not eat eggplant, sauerkraut, potatoes, sugar, spinach, or tomatoes before retiring. All the foods in this paragraph contain tyramine, which increases the release of norepinephrine, a brain stimulant.
Other foods which keep people awake include fatty foods, sugar, white flour, salt, monosodium glutamate (MSG), chemical preservatives, additives, and allergenic foods.
Obtain enough exercise during the day, with some of it being out-of-doors. Exercise regularly in the late afternoon or early evening, but not right before bedtime.
Before bedtime go outside and walk around quietly in the fresh air for 30 to 45 minutes.
Take a hot bath (not a shower) an hour or two before bedtime.
Some people need to have the bedroom quiet. Others need some sound to mask background noise. In such cases, have a fan turned on.
Trust in God. He promises to give His beloved rest.
Regularity in your habits is important. This is vital to good sleep. Always go to bed at the same time, and get up at a definite time. The body has normal rhythmic cycles. People with regular habits have faster reaction time and are happier than those with irregular sleeping times. Getting up each morning at the right time will help you go to sleep at the right time each night. Sleeping in, on weekends, disrupts the biological clock. If you want sleep problems, stay up late every so often.
For some people, daytime naps make it more difficult to sleep at night. But, for some older people, a little rest before mealtime during the day helps them, so that any sleeplessness at night never fatigues them.
If you cannot sleep, you can just lay there, relax, and rest. This is nearly as good as sleep.
Or you can get up and do something quietly and calmly for a short timeand then go back to bed and to sleep. One excellent method is to go outside and breath the fresh air, look up at the stars, breath some more fresh airand then go back to bed and to sleep.
If you are wakeful one night, do not nap the next day, and you will be more likely to go right to sleep that night.
Go to bed early when you are sleepy.
Some take melatonin or calcium to help them go to sleep. These are both natural and safe aids in promoting sleep.
The room temperature should be 60o-65o F. If the room is too warm, you are more likely to move about more and awaken more frequently. The problem is a lack of air.
If you want a restful night's sleep, make sure a little current of air is passing through your room, even in the winter. But you cannot sleep well when it is stuffy.
Do not take sleeping pills. They have pain relievers, bromides, antihistamines, and/or scopolamine. These are ineffective and produce unpleasant side effects.
Alcohol, barbiturates, and hypnotics do not solve the sleep problem, but worsen it. Alcohol disrupts sleep later in the night. Nicotine appears to be calming, but it is actually a neuro-stimulant.
Do not take caffeine substances after lunch.
Do not take nasal decongestants and other cold medications. They stimulate many people and keep them from getting to sleep.
Restless leg syndrome (which see) can be a problem. Calcium, potassium, magnesium, and zinc supplements help eliminate that problem. In addition, make sure you are not anemic. (See anemia).
Studies reveal that, in countries where people regularly nap during the day, there are less accidents, and productivity is higher. The important factor here is consistency. Be regular in your hours for sleep at night. If you nap during the day, be regular in that. If you nap, generally keep your naps shortless than an hour at a time.
Herbal teas which help increase sleepiness include hop tea, catnip, and chamomile. But do not rely on herb tea, to help get you to sleep every night.
Make sure you have a good mattress to sleep on.
Keep your thoughts heavenward, and you will find it much easier to go to sleep at night.
Also see "Insomnia2."
ENCOURAGEMENTEvery faculty with which the Creator has endowed us should be cultivated to the highest degree of perfection, that we may be able to do the greatest amount of good of which we are capable.
TO RELIEVE BRAIN CONGESTIONNeutral Douche, 3-5 minutes at bedtime; Cold Douche; Hot Leg Bath; Footbath under running water; heating Wet Sheet Pack, followed by Wet Sheet Rub; Hot Abdominal Pack, warmly covered and protected with plastic; heating Leg Pack; dry heat to the legs and feet; Hot Leg Pack followed by Cold Mitten Friction to the legs; Heating Compress to legs or Leg Pack at bedtime, to be prolonged during the night; Hot Abdominal Pack and Leg Pack through the night; Revulsive Douche to the legs at 102o F. for 2 minutes, then 60o F. for 15 seconds; Neutral Douche, 3-5 minutes; downward stroking of head and neck [to eliminate phlegm and aid lymph flow].
RELIEVE IRRITABILITY OF THE BRAIN CELLSProlonged Neutral Bath at bedtime; neutral Wet Sheet Pack; Enema, if constipation or flatulence are present.
IRRITABILITY OF SOLAR PLEXUS OR LOWER BACK NERVESAbdominal Fomentation followed by abdominal Heating Compress, changing every 6 hours. Avoid eating anything but fruits after 4 p.m. Copious water drinking. Colonic, especially if the bowels are inactive, as constipation is a frequent cause of insomnia by producing irritation of the abdominal sympathetic nerves.
EXCESSIVE CARDIAC ACTIVITYIce Bag over heart.
FIDGETINESS OR RESTLESSNESSWarm Pail Pour to spine, at 95o-98o F. Tepid Sponging; rubbing of limbs; rubbing of spine; massage of head.
GENERAL IRRITABILITYNeutral Wet Sheet Pack; Neutral Full Bath; Neutral fan Douche or Shower, for 2-4 minutes.
GENERAL METHODThere may be said to be three forms of insomnia: Sleeplessness may be due to (1) congestion of the brain, (2) irritability of the brain cells, or (3) a combination of these two conditions. Here is how to go to sleep: (1) Come to God, and in peace of heart, trust in Him. (2) Relax and let your mind rest; do not try to problem-solve, you just gave them all to Jesus. (3) Check the temperature and air; it is more difficult to go to sleep in a room that is too hot, too cold, too drafty, or one lacking fresh air. (4) With your nerves and muscles relaxed and cheerful in the thought of Jesus' love, concentrate on breathing slightly deeper, and go to sleep.
Also see "Insomnia1."
SYMPTOMSDizziness, faintness, or light-headedness. The person may feel that he is falling or sinking or that the room is moving around him, sometimes even spinning. This sensation is usually accompanied by nausea, vomiting, perspiration, headache, or hearing loss.
CAUSESVertigo is caused by an impaired sense of balance and equilibrium, and is generally due to an inner ear problem. Older people have it more often than those younger.
If the original cause is concussion, skull fracture, or injuring the inner ear, the dizziness may occur long after the injury supposedly healed.
Other causes are anemia, brain tumors, high or low blood pressure, psychological stress, lack of oxygen or glucose in the blood, nutritional deficiencies, viral infection, fever, changes in atmospheric pressure, the use of certain drugs, middle ear infections, excess wax in the ear, or blockage of the ear canal or eustachian tube.
Lower oxygen levels at higher altitudes can also cause it. Another cause is vitamin B6 and niacin deficiency.
You can expect that you may temporarily experience it if you engage in certain activities, such as amusement park rides, sailing, or virtual reality games.
Be aware that dizziness can be a warning sign of a coming heart attack or stroke. It can also be an indication that a concussion has just occurred.
Dizziness is not the same as vertigo. From time to time, anyone can experience some dizziness or faintness. Those with low-blood pressure will frequently experience this when standing up suddenly.
Immediately, sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and stare at a fixed object for a few minutes.
But, if the cause is low-blood pressure, lower your head while the blood gets up there.
Eat a nutritious diet, including niacin, B6, and the entire B complexincluding B1, B2, and pantothenic acid. Vitamin C is also important.
Do not take over 2,000 mg of total sodium per day. Too much sodium disrupts the operation of the inner ear.
Take powdered peppercorns.
Avoid nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, and fried foods.
Catnip tea will help.
If vertigo begins after taking some new drug, stop using it immediately.
If vertigo seems to be chronic, search out the causes. You may need professional help.
Also see "Motion Sickness."
ENCOURAGEMENTWhen you live a life dedicated to helping others, yours is a life full of satisfaction and happiness. This is the will of God for you, even your sanctification. Obey God's laws, and find ways to bless others, and you will best fulfill your earthly probationary life.
SYMPTOMSThe symptoms vary greatly. Most frequently there is easy fatigue, a sense of great weariness after slight exertion, or inability to perform a normal amount of mental or physical labor.
There may be mental depression, impaired memory, and inability to concentrate. There may be a sense of fullness, pressure, or pain in the head.
Pains in the neck, shoulders, back, and limbs. Tender spots on the spine.
Dizziness, ringing in the ears, attacks of palpitation and distress about the heart.
Cold feet, clammy hands, hot flashes about the head.
There is generally constipation, a disturbed digestion, and sleeplessness.
CAUSES AND TREATMENT
A variety of causes may, and probably are, involved. For example, the person may be hypothyroid and fears to exert himself. Yet vigorous, out-of-door activity is probably what he needs, along with fresh air, sunlight, and nourishing food.
The orthodox approach is to prescribe rest and quiet. But it may be that getting outside and walking around is a better solution during part of the day. Find someone who needs help.
Start taking on small challenges, and then expand them. Begin by washing the dishes and sweeping the floor. Do something useful, and thank God that you can.
Eat nourishing foodand nothing else. Include niacin and the entire B complex. Do not eat between meals. Chew your food well. Do not overeat. Do not go on binges.
Stop consuming all fried, processed, and junk food and drink. Stop alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and hard medicinal drugs. Avoid chemicals in the food, air, and water.
Take a cool shower; jump out and dry off in the cooler air.
Run down the road a few yards. Go in and lay down and rest. Go outside and run again. Keep pushing yourself, and get yourself built up.
Avoid enervation. Think positive. Be thankful for what you have and what you can do.
Also see "Neurasthenia2."
ENCOURAGEMENTGod gives us strength and time to build characters which He can improve. By the enabling grace of Christ, put away sin from your life and live to bless others.
NOTENeurasthenia (nervous exhaustion) is not a distinct pathological entity, but a group of symptoms due to various etiological influences and connected with various morbid states.
BASIC ASPECTSRest cure for those who have been overworked, nervously and physically, and for those who are mentally and nervously tired.
COMBAT AUTOINTOXICATIONAseptic diet; fruit diet; daily Neutral Baths 1-3 hours; sweating procedures of short duration (3-6 minutes), followed by suitable cold applications; Hot Enema daily; copious water drinking; out-of-door life.
COMBAT EXHAUSTIONRest for the overworked. Improve digestion, in cases of starved dyspeptics, by appropriate measures. Tonic cold applications carefully graduated; especially Percussion Douche to spine.
CHECK EXHAUSTING DISCHARGESApply appropriate measures. See under "Leukorrhea," and "Spermatorrhea."
RELIEVE REFLEX IRRITATIONIf sexual, rectal, prostatic, or urethral irritation, employ Revulsive Sitz Bath, Prolonged Neutral Sitz Bath, Hot Footbath, Hot Pack over pelvis. For ovarian irritation, in addition to above, hot vaginal irrigation for 15-20 minutes.
IRRITATION OF SOLAR PLEXUS AND SYMPATHETIC NERVESFomentation over abdomen 3 times daily; during intervals, Heating Compress; abdominal supporter.
IMPROVE GENERAL NERVE TONEGraduated cold applications. The Cold percussion Douche to spine is the most efficient of all measures; general Cold Douche; very Hot Douche at 1100 F. for 30 seconds, followed by Graduated or Cold Douche.
HEADACHEHot and Cold Compress; Revulsive Compress; to spinal area, give Alternate Compress or Sponging; Hot Footbath; Footbath under running water.
FRONTAL HEADACHERevulsive Compress to forehead and eyes; Hot and Cold Truck Pack; derivative applications to feet and legs.
CONGESTIVE HEADACHEIce Bag to back of head and Cold Compress to face; Ice Collar; Hot and Cold Compress to head; Hot Footbath; Hot Leg Pack; Heating Compress to legs; Cold Footbath under running water; Alternate Footbath; and wear felt shoes.
OCCIPITAL HEADACHE [on back of head]Hot Compress or Sponging to upper spine and occipital region. Revulsive Compress; Hot and Cold Compress to head. [The occipital region is the area around the bump on the back of your head).
NERVOUS HEADACHEFomentation to seat of pain, with simultaneous Hot Footbath; Daily Cold Enema to relieve constipation if present; special attention to the diet; a dry aseptic diet is indicated, avoiding milk.
SENSATION OF BAND AROUND HEADHot Sponging or Hot Compress; Alternate Sponging of neck and upper spine; massage to head.
SENSATION OF PRESSURE AT VERTEX [top of head]Hot Footbath, Cold Compress to head; Ice Collar; sleep with head elevated; heat to feet and legs if cold.
PAIN IN EYES, INTOLERANCE TO LIGHT OR USE OF IN READINGLight Fomentation over eyes and forehead, but never over naked eyeball: Close eyelids and lay gauze or thin, dry cotton cloth over it, beneath the Fomentation; protect eyes from bright light; facial massage and massage to eye. An oculist should be consulted, for eyeglasses may be needed, temporarily or permanently.
BACKACHEFomentation to abdomen, Hot Abdominal Pack, abdominal supporter, Alternate Spinal Sponging or Alternate Compress, Revulsive Douche to spine, Revulsive Sitz Bath.
VERTIGOFomentation to stomach, followed by Hot Abdominal Pack; bathing face or top of head with very hot water or Hot Compress for 2 minutes, followed by Cool Compress, 15 seconds; heat to back of neck in anemia of the brain.
ANOREXIACold Hot Water Bottle over stomach for half an hour before meals, with Cold Compress or Cold Water Bottle to area, front and back, opposite stomach; Cold Mitten Friction or Cold Towel Rub.
MUSCULAR WEAKNESS, ESPECIALLY IN LEGSCold percussion Douche to spine; Alternate Douche to legs.
MENTAL DEPRESSIONSweating Bath, followed by short general Cold Douche; Neutral Bath for 1 hour daily; Neutral Pack; Cold Percussion Douche to spine; Alternate Sponging to spine or Alternate Douche to spine.
FIDGETINESSFomentation to abdomen, followed by Hot Abdominal Pack; empty colon, if loaded, by Enema; abdominal supporter; Revulsive Sitz Bath; Neutral Pail Pour to spine.
DREAMSNeutral Bath for half an hour before going to bed; Hot Abdominal Pack; evaporating head cap; elevate head of bed; avoid eating after 4 p.m., except fruit.
COLD EXTREMITIESRevulsive Douche to legs and feet, followed by standing Shallow Bath; Fomentation to abdomen twice daily, followed by heating compress during the intervals between; Alternate Footbath; massage to feet and legs; Cold Mitten Friction.
GENERAL METHODWhile not recognizable as a distinct malady, it is convenient from a practical standpoint to consider neurasthenia (general exhaustion) as a disease. The tonic effects of cold water are essential in the treatment of neurasthenic conditions. The management of cold applications in such a way as to secure the tonic effects desirable without aggravating any of his symptoms is a problem which taxes, to the utmost, the skill and experience of the hydrotherapist. Special attention must be given to the digestion, improvement of nutrition, regulation of the bowels, and the relief of prominent and distressing symptoms by suitable palliative measures.
Also see "Neurasthenia1."
BASIC FACTORSCombat anemia and improve general nutrition by graduated tonic applications (Tonic Frictions); copious water drinking; large Enema or Colonic; Fomentation to abdomen morning and night; Heating Compress during intervals between. Secure mental quiet by isolation, if necessary. He should be kept in the open air as much as possible. Out-of-door life and rhythmical gymnastics are especially useful.
INSOMNIAProlonged Neutral Bath or Neutral Douche, Hot Abdominal Pack.
AGITATIONNeutral Pail Pour to spine, Wet Sheet Pack.
IRREGULAR MOVEMENTSNeutral Pail Pour to spine, daily; prolonged Neutral Bath; special exercises.
ENDOCARDITISIce Bags over the heart.
GENERAL METHODImprove the nerve tone by tonic measures and careful attention to nutrition. Train him to better mental and moral control and to combat choreic movements by systematic gymnastic training.