All the parts of the human body work together, although each one has its especial part to do. The stomach must have a time to rest between meals. The other parts of the body require rest, too. This they usually get while we are asleep. We must not be neglectful and fail to give them enough rest, or they will soon get worn out and give us trouble.
Sometimes, when people are not well or are all tired out, they find they cannot sleep well at night. There are a number of little things that can be done to induce sleep.
A warm bath before retiring, followed by a gentle massage, especially along the spine, often will, by relaxing the nerves and muscles, produce very good results. A hot foot bath, which draws the blood away from the brain, frequently will be found beneficial. A glass of hot milk or cocoa, taken just before retiring, often will have the same effect. If the sleeplessness is a result of indigestion, a plain diet will relieve. Sleeping upon a hard bed without any pillow sometimes produces the desired effect. Always have plenty of fresh air in the room. Keep the mind free from the cares of the day.
If they will intrude, crowd them out by repeating something else some soothing sentence or bit of poetry. One good plan is to close the left nostril by pressing on it with the finger, then take four deep breaths through the right nostril. Then close the right nostril and take four deep breaths through the left one. Repeat this about four times. Then breathe slowly through both nostrils, but count your breaths. You seldom will count very many. Never take any sleeping powders or tablets except upon the advice of a physician, for they usually contain drugs that will injure the heart.
You will find that you will meet a number of men who are nervous, which means they have not control of their nerves, but let them run away with them. Sometimes this is shown in palpitation of the heart, headache, backache, and many other disorders. There may be a tendency to cry at trivial things, or a feeling of having “the blues.” The cause usually can be found in uncongenial surroundings or occupation, loss of friends, or real or fancied troubles.
Whatever the cause, it should be removed, if possible, and measures taken to restore the worn out nerves that are crying for rest or food. Tonics help, so does nourishing food, such as eggs and milk; also a change of scene and occupation, if possible. A man who is nervous frequently does not realize what is the cause of his condition, and considers only the symptoms. So when he has a headache, resorts to medicine. In taking these she only is deadening the pain and not removing the cause, so the pain is liable to return.