When sleeplessness comes as one of the symptoms of a disease, it may not have to be dealt with by itself, at least with medicine, unless it be more prolonged and distressing than usual. In every case quietness is indispensable, through the evening and night. Little or no light should, during the night, reach the eyes of the patient: if accustomed to darkness, this will be best.

If difficulty of sleeping (insomnia) result from nervous disturbance, exhaustion, over-study or anxiety, management should always be perseveringly tried before resorting to drugs so powerful as the sleep-producers (hypnotics, narcotics.)

Very light, easily digested food should, under such circumstances, make the last meal of the day. Yet a person not strong will sometimes be kept awake by having an empty stomach late at night. A cracker, a drink of sugared water, or a small wine-glassful of beef-tea, may then make a better night. No excitement of the brain, as by reading or continued conversation, should be allowed for two hours before usual sleeping time. Being read aloud to, if the book be not too interesting, answers in some cases; but an objection to it is that it requires the presence of more light than is desirable.

Mothers and nurses often sing their babies to sleep. That is a very good expedient, and may now and then succeed ever with a grown person.

Exercise, in moderation, and in proportion to one's strength, may be very well taken in the evening to promote sleep. A walk in the open air will do, or a few minutes' flourishing of not too heavy dumbbells. Getting a little tired makes one sleep; while real exhaustion has the contrary effect.

Some people imagine that if they cannot get asleep at once, they might as well be up and doing something, reading or writing, or walking about. This is a very great mistake. If not sound asleep, or even far enough towards that to entirely lose consciousness, we may yet get a good deal of rest in partial sleep; and the more of this we get the better, in the saving and renewal of strength. Keep still, then, in the dark, with closed eyes, and try to dismiss active thought. Count 100, 200, 300; repeat doggerel verses, as wrong as you can misremember them; watch imaginary sheep jumping over fancied stiles, one, two, three, four, and on, to twenty-five or fifty. Fight your eyelids; after a while, the brain-vibrations, like those of a bell that has been struck, will lull by degrees, and sleep may come at last.

Hardly without a doctor's advice, if that can be procured, ought any one to take strong sleep-compelling doses, such as hydrate of chloral, laudanum, or solution of morphia. Lactucarium, which is obtained from the garden lettuce, used for salad, is much milder than opium; and camphor water will, when mere nervous restlessness is the matter, often compose so as to allow of sleep. Hoffmann's Anodyne is similar in its effect, and tincture of hops, or a tea made of hops, is very quieting. Even a hop-pillow, made by sprinkling hop-leaves with alcohol and binding them in a pillow-case, will sometimes bring the tossing head to rest.