Bed-Time, or that period of the evening or night, when we retire to enjoy the necessary repose.
Although it would be difficult, in the present irregular state of society, to lay down rules for the proper time of resorting to that place which suspends and makes us forget our daily troubles and cares ; yet, when we consider the subject., with regard to its influence, as well on the health as the moral chara6ter of man, it is deserving of the most serious discus-sion. Much, indeed, depends on the arrangement of the day, and the different pursuits of the individual. Those persons who spend the greater part of then time in useful labour, and have sufficient muscular exercise, would better consult their health, by retiring to repose at least two or three hours before midnight', which, according to the oldest and most accurate observers, are nearly as refreshing as double that portion in the morning. Those, however, who lead an idle and luxurious life, are too much the slaves of fashion, habit, and caprice, to adopt any useful changes, which might abridge their amusements or imaginary comforts.
On the other hand, the studious, and especially speculative persons, cannot comply with what are generally called "regular hours;" because their pursuits are better adapted to the solemn stillness of night, while they indulge in reflections which require a conuected series of thought, and reasoning, uninterrupted by the noise of day. Yet, even literati and artists, ought to pay due attention to this important circumstance, that the atmosphere of the night is always more vitiated, and consequently less lit lor respiration, than that of a serene day; and as we respire a greater portion of air while awake, than in a sleeping state, it follows that the system must be more injured in the former than in the latter case.
Nor would it be proper to retire to rest immediately after a full meal, or in an agitated state of mind. Hence, two hours after a light supper ought to elapse, in order to prepare ourselves for an invigorating repose, and banish all gloomy or depressing ideas and thoughts which require mental ex-ertion For the same reason, we should remove from our sight every object which may irritate the nerves, and never adopt that perjurious practice of reading, till we fall asleep - an imprudence of which many young and thoughtless persons are guilty. Instead ' of such a dangerous expedient, it would be more salutary to walk Up and down the room for a few minutes, or to take any other gentle exercise
Lastly, we are of opinion, that such individuals as breakfast at nine, dine at two, and drink tea at six or, instead of this, eat a light supper between seven and eight o"clock, might with the greatest benefit to their health, retire to bed at ten, and rise at five or six o'clock in the morn: or earlier, according to the degree of exercise they have taken on the preceding day. - See farther - Sleep; Sleeping, and Waking.