This is a serious symptom of disease of the nervous system which should not be neglected. When an individual cannot sleep, his nervous system will rapidly get out of repair, and serious disorders will make their appearance in consequence of nervous debility induced by want of rest. Sleeplessness is often a precursor of insanity, of which it is not infrequently an important symptom. In many cases, the mental disease is due loss of sleep for a protracted period. When an individual discovers that he is becoming habitually sleepless, perhaps lying awake several hours every night, not obtaining more than one-half the proper amount of sleep, he should at once give serious attention to the matter, for the purpose of remedying the cause.

The Causes of Sleeplessness Or Insomnia

The patient may be deprived of sleep in consequence of pain in some part of the body, as from neuralgia, from severe headache, or from other painful affections, or he may toss about, anxiously longing for sleep, but kept awake by mere nervousness. In other cases the immediate cause of inability to sleep is activity of the intellect, the mind continuing so active that sleep is impossible.

The principal causes of sleeplessness are eating before retiring, exoessive brain work, too little physical exercise, indigestion, the use of tea and coffee, tobacco-using, the use of alcoholic liquors, and high living, especially the excessive use of meat and stimulating condiments. Constipation, biliousness, heart disease, asthma, and other affections which produce congestion of the brain and an irritable condition of the nervous system, are frequent causes of deficient sleep.